The government must take action to save the Hadassah hospitals in Jerusalem, State Comptroller Yosef Shapira has urged.
Shapira sent a letter to Health Minister Yael German asking what her ministry is doing to address reported crises in Hadassah’s two hospitals in the capital city.
While the Hadassah hospitals are not under the government’s auspices or oversight, he said, they are too important to be allowed to fail.
“Various reports speak of huge debts, plans to fire hundreds of workers, partial payment of workers’ salaries, four members of the Israeli board of directors quitting, including the chairwoman, hiring an advisory firm to help deal with the ongoing crisis, plans to shut down the dentistry school, and more,” he wrote.
Chair of the board of Hadassah University Hospital Esther Dominissini and four others stepped down in late October in protest over reports that the hospital’s CEO and the president of the Hadassah women’s organization had been conducting talks to rescue the hospital without involving the board.
The hospital is reportedly in debt to the tune of one billion shekels, including a NIS 300 million debt accrued over the past year alone.
“The State Comptroller’s office is aware of the fact that the Hadassah Medical Center, which is renowned worldwide, is not under government oversight… However, our ministry is worried for the fate of the health system in Jerusalem, from a public perspective,” he continued.
Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital and Hadassah Har Hatzofim (Mount Scopus) Hospital are a “cornerstone” of the healthcare system in Jerusalem, he warned.
“The hospital system in Jerusalem is based on hospitals that are non-governmental and are not owned by the kupot cholim [HMOs], among them Hadassah hospitals, which serve roughly one million people, including the population of east Jerusalem and the region,” he reminded.
In light of that fact, he concluded, the Comptroller’s office would like to know how the government is planning to “deal with the ongoing crisis in Hadassah,” and what potential solutions the Health Ministry has to offer.