Health Ministry looks to punish doctor who vowed not to treat PM

Deputy Health Minister blasts hospital department chief who said he would refuse to treat Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Hezki Baruch,

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman
Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) excoriated a senior doctor at Hillel Yoffe Medical Center in Hadera on Tuesday, following reports that the doctor vowed never to treat Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“This is an outrageous statement to make, one which cannot be ignored,” Litzman said.

“A doctor in the State of Israel cannot take the law into his own hands and declare [he’ll engage in] selective treatment – not against the Prime Minister or any other person. Our first responsibility in the [health] system is to provide the best treatment to everyone.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr. Yaron River, the Neurology Department chief at Hadera’s Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, said that he would refuse to treat Netanyahu if the prime minister was ever brought to his hospital.

“We need to throw him out, take him down.”

When asked to whom he was referring, Dr. River said he was talking about Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“He lives in Caesarea, and if he is brought here I won’t treat him,” Dr. River continued, according to the report. Hillel Yaffe is the closest hospital to Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea.

Litzman added Tuesday that he had called on ministry officials to examine what sanctions could be taken against Dr. River.

“I ordered ministry officials to examine what steps are to be taken in a case like this. This is a statement that simply cannot be ignored by the health establishment. His personal believes are irrelevant, he is obligated to treat everyone, no matter what.”




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