Health Minister Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party sits with other ministers in Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government during a Knesset session, November 23.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Dr. Orly Weinstein has been appointed to the new position of director of the Health Ministry’s government hospital division, which will include general, psychiatric and geriatric hospitals owned by the state.
When the previous health minister, Yael German, was in office, she headed the German Committee that decided the state hospitals would be taken out from ministry control and be run by an authority. The cabinet voted to approve this reform.
The Yesh Atid MK appointed Esther Dominissini, a former board chairman of the Hadassah Medical Organization, the National Insurance Institute, the Israel Employment Service and the Prisons Service, to head such an authority. Dominissini procured offices in Tel Aviv and spent an unknown amount of funds, but she resigned when Litzman gained control of the Health Ministry after the last election and clearly stated that he opposed the German Committee reform.
Thus Litzman’s appointment of Weinstein is a blow to the idea of taking control of the public hospitals away from the ministry – something that was proposed by the Public Commission to Reform the Public Health System, which had been headed a quarter of a century ago by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aunt, retired justice Shoshana Netanyahu.
The ministry said on Thursday that the establishment of the new division was aimed at “strengthening the state hospitals and to separate the historical structure between the ministry’s ‘two hats’ – as a regulator of the health system, including the hospitals, and owning the state hospitals.”
Weinstein, an ophthalmologist and expert in medical administration, has for the last four years been deputy director of Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. She is also a senior academic in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in medical logistics and received a prize for this from the ministry’s director-general. Previous positions she filled include head of risk management in Soroka, medical adviser to the ministry’s director-general, officer in charge of an IDF medical facility in the South and chairman of the medical residents’ committee at BGU.
Litzman welcomed her appointment and said she will have an “important role in advancing the government hospitals to provide accessible and the best possible care to Israelis.”
Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov said that Weinstein had “the privilege of starting something new and strengthening the state hospitals.”