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This study analyzed the relationship between perceived need for health services and perceived damages to the health of the public due to curtailment of medical services during a physicians' strike. A model describing this relationship was hypothesized and tested in one city in Israel during the course of the strike. Results indicated that significant damage was perceived by the public as a result of the strike, a perception that persisted despite utilization of alternative care centers set up by the strikers. Furthermore, it was shown that financially weaker segments of the population were more likely to perceive damages to their health during a strike than were the more affluent segments of society.