(photo credit: SHEBA INTERNATIONAL)
The board of directors of the Hadassah Medical Organization late Tuesday night recommended the candidacy of Prof.
Zeev Rotstein, director-general of Sheba Medical Center, to become HMO’s permanent director-general. However, the appointment must be approved by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and by the directors- general of the Finance and Health ministries before he can replace the temporary director- general, oncologist Prof. Tamar Peretz.
The board said it wants a decision by Sunday.
HMO, with its two Jerusalem medical centers (at Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus) and its medical, dental, nursing, and other faculties operated with the Hebrew University, has been in financial trouble and suffered from employee unrest for several years.
The proposed appointment of Rotstein, who is due to retire from Sheba when he reaches 67 in two years, has been controversial, as he has come into conflict with the Health Ministry over some of his actions in recent years.
Officials said they did not like his offering private medical services in the government hospital “against regulations.”
Doctors paid as public staffers of Sheba have run private practices in the mornings there.
Rotstein was severely criticized for these and other activities by Treasury accountant- general Michal Abadi-Boyanjo – a former Health Ministry deputy director-general in charge of supervising the four health funds, as well as by the state comptroller on other issues.
Senior Health Ministry officials maintain that Rotstein made frequent decisions in contravention of ministry policy.
Complaints have also been filed against him in the Civil Service Commission’s disciplinary court.
But Deputy Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman decided that the powerful Rotstein is the only one willing and able to tame HMO and deal with its serious problems. Very few qualified and experienced medical administrators, either from Israel or abroad, were interested in the job, which has been filled by several physicians and even a non-MD insurance executive in recent years.
The Movement for the Quality of Government called on the HMO search committee to “give suitable weight” to claims against Rotstein when deciding who is suitable to be HMO director-general.