Israel seeks to ease immigration for doctors, nurses due to manpower shortage

Government committee will weigh steps to encourage medical professionals to immigrate to Israel, amid escalating protests by healthcare workers over their work conditions

New immigrants from North America arrive on a special aliyah flight arranged by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization, at Ben Gurion International Airport on August 14, 2019. (Flash90)

The Israeli government on Sunday approved the establishment of a committee to ease the immigration process for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, in order to overcome the manpower shortage in the health sector.

The cabinet voted to approve the suggestion of Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata to establish a committee with representatives from the health, finance, and immigration ministries as well as the Prime Minister’s Office to potentially allow thousands of medical workers from the former Soviet Union as well as the US, Canada, and Argentina to easily move to Israel.

The reforms suggested would simplify the transfer of medical licenses between countries and guarantee jobs to doctors who immigrate to Israel.

 

Following the announcement, Tamano-Shata tweeted that “all of Israel will benefit” from such a move.

Israel has long suffered from a chronic shortage of healthcare workers, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently threatened by a labor dispute among hospital interns.

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