Israeli Treasury, Hadassah Medical Center launch public feud

Hadassah to Treasury: “What else can you do to harm the hospital that you haven’t done already? You... are like a pyromaniac who lights a fire and then runs to call for firemen.”

September 11, 2016 20:58
2 minute read.
Hadassah-University Medical Center

STAFF TAKE a breather outside Hadassah-University Medical Center in the capital’s Ein Kerem. . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

An unprecedented personal war of words has broken out between, on the one side, the Treasury and Accountant-General Michal Abadi-Boyanjo, and on the other,  Hadassah Medical Organization director-general Prof. Zev Rotstein.

It began when Finance Ministry Director-General Shai Babad sent a written protest on Sunday to Rotstein protesting the physician’s “personal attacks” on Abadi-Boyanjo, a former Health Ministry deputy director-general in charge of supervising health funds and the first woman ever to become the Treasury accountant-general.

Babad, in a letter also sent on Sunday to Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman (who pushed hard for Rotstein’s appointment), senior HMO officials, the Hadassah Women’s Zionist organization of America, Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon – said that Rotstein’s charges were unacceptable. “I demand an immediate apology [from Rotstein],” he declared. Babad also insisted that disagreements be discussed in professional forums and not through the media. His letter was in the Calcalist financial paper .

HMO spokeswoman Hadar Elboim did not respond to The Jerusalem Post’s request for comments on Babad’s statement.

The most-senior Treasury official said Rotstein’s were inappropriate despite “the long argument between you [and Abadi-Boyanjo]... The statements do not help the HMO and its economic recovery.”

Rotstein was quoted as attacking the accountant-general for the “ego that blinds” her and her attempts at “foiling” of the recovery program signed last year between the HMO and the government. Rotstein wrote to Abadi-Boyanjo: “What else can you do to harm the hospital that you haven’t done already? You yourself are responsible for every harm in the flow of funds and for trying to create a crisis like a pyromaniac who lights a fire and then runs to call for firemen.”

Abadi-Boyanjo wrote to Rotstein, with whom she had numerous bouts when he was previously director-general of Sheba Medical Center, that HMO management has “in a sweeping and fundamental way violated the recovery agreement” and that Rotstein’s requests for more money “violates the agreement.” The financially ailing HMO received hundreds of millions of shekels from the Treasury in exchange for agreeing to painful recovery steps. She accused Rotstein of “refusing to cooperate” with the accountant appointed by the Treasury to supervise the HMO as part of the recovery agreement.

In recent years, when Rotstein headed Sheba, Abadi-Boyanjo criticized the hospital director-general for allowing “illegal” private operations to be performed in the public medical center (reported by the state comptroller) and for allegedly approving Sheba’s use of land belonging to others.

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