Ex-Hospital Head Blames Gov't, Hadassah for Crisis

Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef says claims he received bonuses totaling millions of shekels from Haddassah hospital is a 'cover up'

Gil Ronen ,

Hadassah strike
Hadassah strike
Hezki Ezra

Former Director of Hadassah Hospital, Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, denied Wednesday that he took bonuses totalling millions of shekels when he left the hospital, which is now in severe financial straits.

Mor-Yosef, who now heads the National Insurance Institute, fired back at his accusers and said: “The fire was directed at me in order to cover up the real story. The Finance Ministry and the Hadassah women did nothing to prevent the deterioration that they knew about for years.”

"The accusers forgot to note one thing – that I never took the bonuses at all,” he added. “For three years, I have not been running Hadassah, but now that they have supposedly been surprised by the crisis, they are looking for the old captain.”

Mor-Yosef said that in 2008, he met then-prime minister Ehud Olmert – along with the Chairwoman of Hadassah-WZOA and top Finance Ministry officials – and informed Olmert of the crisis in Hadassah.

“The only thing that happened was a short-term solution,” he accused. “In the last three years, as Hadassah's situation got steadily worse, nothing was done, and now they are busy mounting personal attacks against me, against the Hadassah management, against the employees and the doctors, who are innocent of wrongdoing.”

"The Finance Ministry must finance a large part of the recovery from the crisis,” Mor-Yosef opined. “Until now, the state and Jerusalem received quality medical care for free.”

According to Yediot Aharonot, Mor-Yosef, who was Hadassah Director between 2001 and 2011, signed a new contract in 2006 that empowered the board of directors to grant him bonuses, on top of his salary, which stood at tens of thousands of shekels per month. In 2011 he received two bonuses totalling 280,000 shekels ($80,000), and the sum total of his bonuses was about 1.8 million shekels, or over $500,000.

In addition, Mor-Yosef continues to receive 75,000 shekels per month from the hospital until his retirement, on top of his monthly salary of 60,000 shekels at the National Insurance Institute. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu directed harsh criticism at Hadassah's management Monday. "The hospital administration has failed on the large scale – and now Israeli citizens are forced to bear the cost of the bailout," Netanyahu stated, according to Channel 2. "We need to find a solution which balances the need to keep the hospital running and the need to prevent this crisis from returning within the next few years."

The strike began last Tuesday at both Hadassah Ein-Kerem and Hadassah Mount Scopus medical centers, as a backlash against the Finance Ministry for allegedly stalling in negotiations to expand the hospital's budget.