Health authority chief resigns after Litzman stymies planned agency

By
May 25, 2015 18:52

After almost a year of failing to get the government-approved National Government Hospital Authority off the ground, its director Esther Dominissini resigns.

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A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.

A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

After almost a year of failing to get the government-approved National Government Hospital Authority off the ground, director Esther Dominissini has resigned.

Dominissini, a former chairwoman of the Hadassah Medical Organization and former head of the National Insurance Institute, Israel Employment Service and Israel Prison Service, was appointed to head the authority by former health minister MK Yael German after the previous Netanyahu government approved the establishment of an independent state body to own and run state hospitals.

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The May 25, 2014, cabinet decision followed a recommendation by the German Committee to Improve the Health System headed by then-minister German who had argued that the authority would be outside of the Health Ministry, therefore “leaving the ministry with more time to serve as a regulator of health services in the entire country.”

The ministry’s spokeswoman said Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman “accepted Esther Dominissini’s announcement and expressed his appreciation for her public activities,” adding that, in the near future, he would decide what to do about the continuing the authority’s activities.

Dominissini originally had sought to hire 90 employees to work in the authority, but was given only five, leading her to conclude that the ministry was not eager to hand over much of its power and influence to eliminate the conflict of interest.

“MK Litzman does not see a reason to continue the establishment of the authority of government medical centers,” Dominissini said in explaining her resignation.

Dominissini added that such institutions exist in many advanced countries including Britain, Germany, France, Holland, Singapore and more.

“Since its establishment, a small team I headed learned the subject, collected data, defined the structure and roles of the authority and set plans and targets.

The need for a professional body that would advance the state hospital system and its budget and infrastructure became clear.”

Dominissini maintained that when Litzman previously had served as deputy health minister he never wanted such an authority and that his position has not changed. Thus, she concluded, there was no point in continuing in the position.

Closing the authority would be another sign of Litzman’s plans to cancel many of German’s past decisions, such as her opposition to private medical services (Sharap) in public hospitals.


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