Israel to Bail Out Private Hospital if It Agrees to Shun Private Medicine in New Facility

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Physicians performing a procedure on a patient at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv.Credit: Guy Raivitz

The government is due to sign an unprecedented agreement shortly in which it agrees to pay 370 million shekels ($98 million) to the Assuta private hospital network in exchange for a commitment to forswear private medicine at the new facility it is building in Ashdod, TheMarker has learned.

In addition to the aid money, which will be disbursed over five years, the finance and health ministries have agreed to license the new hospital to offer medical services not in its original license, including an in vitro fertilization center and an MRI center.

The Ashdod hospital was originally entitled to dedicate up to 25% of its operations to private medicine, or Sharap, as it is known by its Hebrew acronym, in line with the Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek and Hadassah hospitals. The idea was to enable the new hospital to attract leading doctors.

Instead, the 370 million shekels will be used mainly for provide grants for doctors joining the new hospital’s staff in place of the extra income they would get working privately. The same logic is behind adding the list of services Assuta can provide at the new facility.