(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which is in a dispute with the Hadassah Medical Organization over payments for salaries to faculty members in their joint dental schools, on Wednesday called for HMO management “to meet its obligations and to not turn medical and dental faculty students into hostages.”
“The university is committed to the professional training and orderly studies of the students and will do its utmost to minimize harm to them,” the university spokesman said.
“The university pays HMO for teaching services, in accordance with the 2007 affiliation agreement, NIS 36 million annually in addition to the NIS 70m. that the Council of Higher Education’s planning and budgeting committee transfers to it as part of Hadassah’s recovery program to continue the clinical teaching of dental students.”
Two weeks ago, the dental school announced its plans to fire 52 dentists, an action which faculty said threatened the existence of one of only two dental schools in the country. On Monday night, HMO management, headed by director-general Prof. Zeev Rotstein, said it intends to carry out the firings.
The dentists said that those threatened with dismissal have been teaching for 20 or 30 years and that firing one-third of all faculty members meant closing the school, which has 370 students and graduates 100 every year.
HMO said it was very worried about the “unilateral offsetting done by the university in transferring funds from the Council of Higher Education to Hadassah that required it to cut into the flesh of the institution.”
Hadassah finances the cost of five academic schools of the university that “creates a deficit of NIS 70m. a year,” it said. “In this impossible situation, an offsetting of NIS 1m. from the monthly transfer from the university is the straw that broke the camel’s back and leaves Hadassah unable to pay the salaries of the schools’ faculty.”