lindenstrauss - Olivia Pitusi - December 7 2010
Retired Judge Micha Lindenstrauss, December 7, 2010. Photo by Olivia Pitusi
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Supervision of hospital fundraising associations is seriously lacking, according to the State Comptroller's report released yesterday.

The report said that such associations, which are in essence, "bodies of a public nature working on behalf of government and public hospitals" should work "according to the principle of equality, fairness and transparency."

The groups, which often adopt the "friends of" moniker, are currently supervised only by the registrar of non-profit associations, according to the report.

In 2008, income from government-owned general hospitals was about NIS 6.5 billion, of which some NIS 256 million were donations.

The fact that some pharmaceutical companies that make donations to fundraising groups also have business ties to the hospitals as suppliers raises questions of transparency, the report states.

The report also highlights gaps between fundraising for hospitals in the center of the country and outlying areas.

The report states that in 2008, a fundraising association for one hospital in the center of the country received NIS 54.7 million and another hospital got NIS 181.7 million, while two hospitals in the south of the country received only NIS 4.4 million each in donation money.

The Health Ministry responded that it was waiting for Justice Ministry approval of the procedures it had formulated for donations.

The ministry cited the need for "balance between flexibility of the rules so as not to impair the work," and the necessity for it to be properly organized.