A committee appointed by the Health Ministry to investigate complaints by the
family of the late Teva Pharmaceuticals’ industrialist Eli Hurwitz against Sheba
Medical Center, where he died of cancer last year stated on Tuesday that there
were no irregularities in his care.
“The medical treatment he received
was carried out according to acceptable standards,” the committee – headed by
ministry medical complaints commissioner Prof. Chaim Hershko said.
committee said that the government hospital’s medical team in general, both
doctors and nurses, “did not properly assess the seriousness of Hurwitz’s
condition and thus communicated to his family a too-optimistic
Some of the family’s complaints resulted from the gap
between their expectations and the reality of his condition.
There was a
need to better update the family on the seriousness of his prognosis, the
committee said, adding that it was vital to remind the medical teams of the
importance of matching the expectations of the family and the
Hershko and his colleagues said that the role of the doctor in
charge of the shift to respond to queries by the patient and his family should
be set down clearly.
They found that results of blood tests taken one day
were not made known to the doctors; this requires a new assessment of work
The committee said that the case reflected the severe crowding
and overwork in internal medicine departments and the lack doctors, nurses and
intensive care beds. Despite this criticism, the committee said Hurwitz’s
medical care was properly given.
Sheba management in Tel Hashomer said it
accepted the recommendations made by the committee, including the need to
improve communications between the patient and his family on the one hand and
the medical team on the other. It will also revise work practices in the
hospital’s departments. The hospital called on the Health Ministry to increase
significantly the number of beds in internal medicine departments and manpower
in intensive care units of public medical centers.
management, however, protested against the “gap” between the committee’s
conclusions that the industrialist received acceptable treatment and its
comments about the “weakness” of work practices in the
Hospital director-general Prof. Zeev Rotstein sent his
condolences to the family and expressed his appreciation of Hurwitz, who was a
Sheba supporter, but said it was unlikely that if an earlier assessment of his
condition would have changed the unfortunate end result.”