Health Minister Yael German has the veto power to decide whether Prof. Asher
Elhayany, the director-general of Kupat Holim Meuhedet, will be dismissed, as
decided on Thursday by the third-largest health fund’s board of directors, or
allowed to keep his post.
German, a former mayor of Herzliya, said she
has not studied the issue in depth yet and would make a decision after doing so.
She – rather than ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu – will rule on the
matter, because it is “political and not professional,” she said.
Yerahmiel Boyer, a haredi former mayor of Bnei Brak, chairs the board and leads
its policy-making. A few years ago, then-state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss
wrote in his report that Meuhedet’s leadership was corrupt and called for the
dismissal of its senior executives.
They were replaced, but Boyer and the
board were not.
Sources in the health system said that the board chairman
was retained because of his close connection to former deputy health minister MK
Rabbi Ya’acov Litzman of United Torah Judaism, who was replaced by German when
the new government was formed.
The board stated on Thursday that it had
decided to bring Elhayany’s tenure to an end. He was accused of favoritism in
filling various positions in the health fund and spending money without
authorization. Elhayany, a former director- general of Clalit Health Services’
Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, denied all charges.
The board said it
had transferred to German all relevant documents and that in over five hours of
responding to the “serious charges,” the director-general was “not convincing.”
It added that despite these “serious charges and lies that the director-general
spread in the media,” the directors “controlled themselves and decided to run
the process only in the boardroom and not in the newspapers, and it will due so
in the future as well.”
Elhayany commented that he was sure that German
“would not cooperate with an irresponsible and corrupt act to remove [him], and
that [he] had implemented the recommendations and the ‘cleaning up of the
stables’ that the state comptroller had demanded to make Meuhedet healthy
Elhayany, a family medicine specialist, said he was sorry that
the hundreds of thousands of Meuhedet members had to pay again for
“administrative and financial failures” that continued at board level after the
“The health fund should remain in reliable hands
and not those who failed in their posts,” he said.