Coronavirus Czar tapped to lead Israel's Health Ministry

Nachman Ash, chief of Israel's COVID efforts, appointed to head Health Ministry after current chief, Hezi Levy, announces his resignation.

David Rosenberg ,

Nachman Ash (l) and Hezi Levy (r)
Nachman Ash (l) and Hezi Levy (r)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel’s Coronavirus Czar, Prof. Nachman Ash, has been selected to lead the country’s Health Ministry, replacing outgoing Health Ministry Director-General Hezi Levy.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) announced Monday morning that he has tapped Ash to replace Levy, a day after the director-general announced he is stepping down from the Health Ministry and returning to his position at the helm of Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

“I have decided to appoint Prof. Nachman Ash as Health Ministry director-general,” said Horowitz. “Prof. Ash comes to the important position of Health Ministry director-general with professional experience and extensive management experience, after having led the fight against the coronavirus.”

“I have no doubt that he will lead the Health Ministry with his own characteristic wisdom and dedication. Together we will fight the coronavirus pandemic in a professional, transparent way, and at the same time we will strengthen public health services, reduce the gaps in health, and put the individual person in the center.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett congratulated Ash on the appointment, tweeting: “Congratulations to Prof. Nachman Ash on his appointment as director-general of the Health Ministry.”

“Nachman, I am sure that just as you successfully led the State of Israel and the health care services as coronavirus chief, you will also lead the Health Ministry to success both in normal times and in emergencies, and you will care for the health of the citizens of Israel.”

On Sunday, Hezi Levy submitted his resignation as director-general, with plans to resume his prior as administrator of the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, which he managed before being chosen by then-Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) to lead the Health Ministry.