Haaretz Exclusive

Ex-head of Hadassah Still Earns Big, Despite Israeli Hospital's Financial Turmoil

Current head of National Insurance Institute receives millions of shekels in retirement funds for agreeing not to malign hospital.

The head of the National Insurance Institute, Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, receives millions of shekels from his former employer, Hadassah Medical Organization, in a retirement package in which he and the hospital agree not to harm the other's reputation, sources have told Haaretz.

In the agreement, Mor-Yosef agreed to refrain from using confidential information he received through his ties with donors as part of his job as Hadassah's director general.

"Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef indeed receives a pension from Hadassah as approved by the board of directors," said Racheli Goldblatt, a spokeswoman for the medical organization. "We do not release details regarding the employment and retirement conditions of our employees."

In January 2010, the heads of Hadassah, which has been in dire financial straits, agreed to Mor-Yosef's retirement benefits.

According to the sources, Hadassah agreed to pay Mor-Yosef about NIS 75,000 per month until he reached retirement age, 67, in April 2018 – even if he were to be employed elsewhere. This comes to more than NIS 10 million.

In addition to the monthly payment, Hadassah agreed to pay a sum based on Mor-Yosef's last salary multiplied by the number of years he worked at the hospital (since 1980), and a separate retirement grant. He also received a one-time payment of NIS 25,000 and the right to cash in all his vacation and sick days.

Under the agreement, Hadassah continues to make payments to Mor-Yosef's various pension and provident funds, even after he stopped working at the hospital. If it somehow proved legally impossible to make these payments after his tenure at Hadassah, Mor-Yosef agreed to help find a legal alternative such as depositing payments into other funds. If the sides did not find a solution, Hadassah agreed to transfer the payments directly to Mor-Yosef after deducting taxes.

In 2006, Hadassah Medical Organization was hit by a financial crisis. It is not supported by government funds but relies on its own income and donations, such as the tens of millions of dollars raised every year by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. In 2009, the hospital took another blow when it lost $90 million in the Bernard Madoff scandal.

"Falling for the Madoff fraud sounds very sexy, but actually Madoff was merely the last straw in a series of incidents," Mor-Yosef told TheMarker in 2009. "It began with the weakening of the dollar against the shekel, which reduced the value of the donations we received by a high percentage over a very long period."

Mor-Yosef then discussed a reorganization that featured salary cuts. "The first step was that the board of directors and I reduced our own pay and the number of positions on the board," he said.

In early 2010, Mor-Yosef announced that he was retiring at the end of the year when his contract expired. The announcement was made in light of serious disagreements between Mor-Yosef and Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. It was in early 2010 that the agreement was signed awarding Mor-Yosef generous retirement benefits.

The hospital's doctor and nurse associations wanted Mor-Yosef to stay on and called on the hospital to renew his contract; Mor-Yosef then announced that he would retract his intention to retire at the end of his contract. It seemed the sides had reached an agreement under which Mor-Yosef would stay on for another two years, but a few months later the hospital said it was appointing a committee to find a replacement.

Mor-Yosef's salary as head of the National Insurance Institute is about NIS 60,000 per month – much more than the NIS 38,000 that his predecessor Esther Dominissini earned. This is because his salary is based on doctors' salary grading and is matched to the salary of the Health Ministry's director general. Dominissini is currently chairwoman of the Hadassah Medical Organization.

As head of the NII, Mor-Yosef is in charge of transferring payments and pensions to the growing number of needy Israelis.

Haaretz
Emil Salman / Jini