Hadassah national president rejects mediation over Mor-Yosef

Six of Hadassah Medical Organization’s senior physicians confront Nancy Falchuk over matter.

By BY JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
February 19, 2010 02:32
1 minute read.
Hadassah Hospital.

Hadassah hospital 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

A tense confrontation took place Thursday night between Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America national president Nancy Falchuk and six of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s most senior physicians. At the end, the physicians said the two sides had a “serious and deep crisis of trust” over the HWZOA leader’s refusal to allow HMO director-general Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef to continue for another term.

The doctors were represented by Prof. Avinoam Reches (neurology), Prof. Rafael Yudasin (pediatric surgery), Prof. Arieh Shalev (psychiatry), Prof. Chaim Lotan (cardiology) and Prof. Shlomo Ma’ayan (infectious diseases). “We asked for the meeting and tried to have a dialogue about the HWZOA board’s decision not to allow Mor-Yosef to continue in his post after January and about issues of HMO’s financial future,” said Reches, a leader of the senior doctor’s union at Hadassah.

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Reches said no agreement was reached and that Falchuk rejected mediation over Mor-Yosef’s departure after 10 years in the post. He added that at the end of the meeting at Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel, Falchuk said she would return for more conversations in Jerusalem in three weeks, but that Reches would not be allowed to attend.

Reches said Falchuk and her three colleagues called for a “cease-fire” in which the doctors would not grant interviews to the Israeli press, but the physicians refused. When the doctors asked her whether Mor-Yosef had committed any act of misconduct that was an “under-the-table reason for the end of his contract,” the Hadassah president declared several times that there was none, Reches said.

Falchuk’s public relations representative quoted her as saying: “I am a nurse married to a physician. I felt the small intimate meeting was of a family. I know by name half of the 800 doctors. The staff are the heart and soul of the institution.” She added: “I was grateful for the opportunity to listen, even if at times the conversation was tense.”

Falchuk’s spokeswoman concluded that she feared that conflict between the staff and HWZOA over Mor-Yosef “could hurt fundraising, but each side had the heartfelt concern and hope to move forward.”

Falchuk has said that Mor-Yosef’s departure simply represented following through on his long-term plan to step down after 10 years.


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