Health Minister rejects compromise in Hadassah Hospital crisis

Health Minister Litzman rejects Justice Rubinstein proposal allowing cancer patient treatment by doctors who resigned at different hospital.

Mordechai Sones ,

Health Minister Litzman, Leonid Eidelman
Health Minister Litzman, Leonid Eidelman
צילום: Flash 90

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) today (Monday) rejected a compromise proposal for the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

Retired Judge Elyakim Rubinstein tried to propose a temporary compromise between the parties, according to which three doctors who resigned from Hadassah Ein Karem hospital will be allowed to treat patients who are interested in continuing under their care at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, until a comprehensive solution to the dispute is found that would be acceptable to all parties.

The resigning doctors agreed to the proposal and the parents' representatives joined them. In a move termed absurd by some, the Executive Director of the Health Ministry, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, supported the proposal, but the minister, who is his superior, objected.

Sources close to the Health Minister made it clear that he was not willing to give even the appearance of opening a Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, one of the previous ideas to solve the crisis.

The crisis began when, as a money-saving measure for the Hadassah Hospital, which is in dire financial straits, the head administrator decided to combine the pediatric and adult hemato-oncologydepatments. Although he insisted the treatment would not suffer, the pediatric oncologists disagreed and resigned from their positions in protest. The hospital atempted to bring in new medical personnel, but this was only partially successful.

As the crisis did not reach a solution in the mediation process, the High Court justices will hear the dispute between the parties tomorrow.

Meanwhile, none other than the Chairman of the Israel Medical Association, Leonid Eidelman, announced for the first time that he would support the solution of the new department at Shaare Zedek.

"We were very disappointed to receive the Health Ministry's announcement that put an end to mediation in such a severe and painful crisis. The Israel Medical Association reiterates that there is no substitute for mediation to find an immediate solution for the sick children. The Health Ministry solves no problem with this unfortunate announcement. Instead of conducting battles in order to achieve victory and subdue opponents, an appropriate and urgent response must be found for the sick children."

"We believe that there is no realistic solution without integrating Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The position presented by the Health Ministry as a professional position is unequivocal, and stubborn insistence on this position does not allow for any progress, which is what led to the failure of mediation. We are outraged at the campaign of slander against the dedicated and professional doctors and demand that attacks on doctors cease immediately," said Eidelman.