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Israeli Nurses Refuse to End Walkout

United Press International

Striking Israeli hospital nurses refused Wednesday to end their three-day walkout, prompting health officials to warn that the nation’s hospital system is on the verge of collapse.

Prime Minister Shimon Peres met with Health Minister Mordechai Gur in hopes of solving the strike by Israel’s estimated 11,000 hospital nurses.

The walkout has forced about 40 hospitals to cut back drastically on non-critical services and has raised fears that the health system will not be able to cope with emergency cases.

The nurses are demanding independent union representation, better working conditions, lower taxes and higher pay. Israeli nurses earn a base salary of from $235 to $365 a month for experienced workers.

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