Rambam Medical Center, Haifa
Rambam Medical Center, HaifaFlash 90

Dr. Michael (Miki) Halberthal, the director of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, denied that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had demanded silence from the heads of Israel's hospitals in exchange for an increase in their budgets and staff.

"The positions that will be added to the hospitals will remain even after the plague, Bennett did not demand anything from us in return," Halberthal said in an interview with Kan News, adding that the additional funds are necessary for the health of Israel's citizens.

Israel Hayom reported that an agreement between the Israeli government, the Health Ministry, and hospital directors regarding the addition of hundreds of positions for medical staff included a secret and unprecedented oral agreement as well/

Under the reported agreement, hospital directors committed themselves to not reporting, not warning, and not giving interviews to the media regarding the hospitals' insufficiency with regards to the treatment of coronavirus patients in serious condition and with regards to other patients in serious condition. This would apply regardless of the hospitals' actual situation and the quality of care patients receive, and was addressed in conversations with five senior management figures in large hospitals around the country, some of whom are personally involved in the agreement between the Health Ministry and the government.

Prime Minister Bennett announced Wednesday that up to two thousand additional staff positions would be added to Israel's hospitals to deal with the coronavirus crisis.