(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Allowing private medical service (Sharap) in the public hospital to be
established by Assuta Medical Centers – a private subsidiary of the Maccabi
Health Services public health fund – would mean the end of the public hospital
system, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
wrote a letter on Wednesday to Prime Minister (and formally health minister)
Binyamin Netanyahu, Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman and Treasury
accountant-general Michal Abadi, demanding that the agreement signed a few
months ago to allow Sharap in the Ashdod hospital be abrogated.
months ago, Assuta Ashdod Ltd. won the public tender to build and run the
medical center. The company will be allowed to offer Sharap, as has been routine
for decades at Jerusalem’s major hospitals in addition to Laniado Medical Center
in Netanya, because they are owned and run by voluntary organizations.
Ashdod, a quarter of all income may come from private medical services in the
public hospital, according to the agreement with the Finance Ministry, even
though the medical center project will largely be funded by the public
ACRI noted that the land on which the hospital will be built is
public owned and was transferred to the company without payment.
state will pay the company NIS 487 million to build it, or three-quarters of the
cost. In addition, most of the ongoing costs will be covered by the four public
health funds and the Health Ministry according to their commitments by
ACRI attorney Anne Suciu said the agreement with Assuta “violates
High Court of Justice decisions and opens the way for a basic change in the
public health system to minimize justice, equity and mutual
assistance. This is a severe instance of using public resources for
profit-making private activity that violates the patients’ right to
She said ACRI does not oppose building a public hospital in the
growing city of Ashdod; it favors it, as it will make good healthcare more
accessible to residents of the area whether they have economic means or private
insurance or not. But Sharap will give people with means an advantage. Senior
doctors will treat the well-off at the expense of the ordinary residents, Suciu
ACRI concluded that the existing agreement on the Ashdod
hospital be discussed seriously in a parliamentary and public framework and be