The financial crisis at Jerusalem’s Bikur Cholim Hospital continued Sunday, as the 600 staffers received only 70 percent of their September salaries and there was no evidence that they would receive their October wages.
Senior medical staffers voiced severe criticism on Sunday of Deputy Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman, who they said has taken only partial and delayed action to save the nearly 170-year-old hospital, which caters largely to the haredi community in the north and center of Jerusalem. Before the end of November, the hospital’s medical negligence insurance policies are due to expire, and "no one would be crazy enough to treat patients or be treated at the hospital without it," one official said.
Senior ministry officials have prepared a "contingency plan" that will find beds for all the 100 patients who remain at the hospital; only half of the beds are occupied. A total of 12 women gave birth on Sunday, and the neonatal intensive care unit has over a dozen premature infants. Due to the shortage of neonatal intensive care beds, it has been very difficult for the ministry to find other beds for premature babies in other hospitals around the country.
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