Netanyahu Names New Adviser to Resolve Health System Crisis

Shlomo Mor-Yosef, former Director General of Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, will attempt to reconcile Health Ministry, protesting medical residents.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and deputy Health Minister Yaakov Lizman will appoint a special adviser to negotiate a deal with protesting Israeli medical officials, sources said on  Thursday.

Shlomo Mor-Yosef, who resigned two weeks ago from his position as Director General of Jerusalem's Hadassah University Hospital, was offered the position.

Shlomo Mor-Yosef/WZO - Emil Salman - Sept. 26, 2010
Emil Salman / Jini

In a conversation with Haaretz, however, Mor-Yosef denied the reports, saying:“I have no intention of becoming the Health Ministry Director General.”

Earlier Reports on Thursday, claimed that Mor-Yosef was to replace Health Ministry Director General Roni Gmazu, claiming that he had worked to aggravate the health system crisis rather than to alleviate it.

Health Ministry officials, however, denied the reports.

Another reason for the treasury’s supposed decision to replace Gamzu is his refusal on Thursday morning to fire Rambam’s Deputy Director, Professor Shimon Reisner. Gamzu met with Reisner over the hospital administration’s refusal on Wednesday to immediately fire a number of senior doctors who had tendered their resignation in solidarity with protesting residents.

According to Reisner, Gamzu “understood the decision of the hospital administration in this matter,” despite Gamzu’s alleged concerns over the affect the resignations would have on the health of the patients.

Earlier on Thursday, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said that medical residents who were resigning en mass in protest over pay and conditions were “taking the law into their own hands.”

Beinisch was speaking during a High Court hearing over a petition doctors presented to the High Court over the August agreement between the state and the Israel Medical Association, three days after hundreds of medical residents stopped showing up for work at hospitals around the country.

The dispute follows an agreement reached in August between the Israel Medical Association and the government over a nine-year labor deal for the country's public-health physicians.

The petition, filed by Mirsham, a nonprofit group representing some of the country's residents, challenges the agreement's nine-year duration. It is the third of its kind to be presented by medical residents.