Ya'acov Litzman, the deputy health minister.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman sent a letter of protest on Tuesday to Civil Service Commissioner Moshe Dayan against Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman’s planned appointment of a non-physician as ministry director-general.
Litzman has been saying for weeks that he intends Moshe Bar Siman Tov, a leading Treasury budgets expert, to run the ministry, even though only physicians have done so since the beginning of the state. Bar Siman Tov Eidelman, who sent copies of his letter to both the deputy minister and, said the IMA has “nothing personal” against the Treasury official and that he “seems to be a positive individual,” but that it is “a matter of principle.”
The would-be appointee has been in charge of health budgets in the Treasury for several years.
He urged the commission’s appointments committee to consider “as much as possible the broad considerations and the serious implications the appointment would have on public health issues.”
The IMA fears that Bar Siman Tov will, like most Finance Ministry budget officials, have a policy of cutting budgets to the high-deficit public health system and will not be able to cope with technical and medical ethics aspects of the post, with which only physicians are familiar.
Asked to comment, Litzman’s office said, “There is no law or regulation that limits the post of the ministry director-general only to a physician. [Bar Siman Tov] knows the health system well, as he knows the Treasury, and he will contribute much to the health system in general and to doctors in particular.”