The Assuta public hospital due to open in Ashdod next year has already begun to interview and hire department heads and other senior doctors, medical residents and nurses.
The hospital is being built for the government by Assuta Medical Centers a private corporation, which is entitled, according to a signed deal with the Treasury and Health Ministry, to offer 25 percent of its activities in the form of private medical services (sharap).
However, reconsideration of the accord may lead to Assuta getting paid hundreds of millions of shekels in exchange for forgoing the right to offer the private services. Otherwise, it will be the only state-owned hospital allowed to provide private medical treatment.
The hospital’s catchment area includes 220,000 residents of Ashdod and an additional 250,000 more in nearby cities and towns. Hospitals in Ashkelon and Rehovot have voiced concern that the new hospital will attract medical personnel and patients from them.