“The State of Israel plans to invest hundreds of millions of shekels to rehabilitate Hadassah, but only in exchange for an agreement that will guarantee that Hadassah will be able to maintain economic and corporate independence for generations to come,” said Health Minister Yael German Tuesday at the convention of the Israel Medical Association. In the context of the convention, elections for chairman of the IMA will be held later on Tuesday, as well elections for the various institutions of the organization.
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The dual-campus Jerusalem hospital has been in crisis for months, and filed for bankruptcy protection in February. Amid speculation that the hospital could be shut down and dismantled, German's words about a government rescue plan are a turning point in the ongoing saga.
"Even hospitals that are ostensibly privately owned are public hospitals, and the government cannot stand aside,” German said. She noted that the government does not plan to nationalize or dismantle the hospital. “The agreement must be such that everyone will do his part so that we can be certain that such a crisis won’t be repeated. If everyone lends a hand we’ll be able to solve the crisis.”
German referred to interviews that were published at the end of the week with French economist Thomas Piketty, and said that “One of the things that threatens democracy is the gaps, and one of our major challenges is to narrow the gaps in the health system.” She said, “Perhaps we will also implement some of the principles discussed by Piketty in the committee," referring to a committee for strengthening the public health system in Israel.
This morning only 16 MKs attended a special plenary session during the Knesset recess, regarding the situation of the Hadassah University Hospital. MK Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) said the government should be more appreciative of Hadassah's efforts. “The option of dismantling does not even exist," Cohen said during the discussion. "The government should say thank you to Hadassah.”