Former Health Ministry D-G returns as chief scientist

Professor Avi Yisraeli, who served as the ministry director-general from 2003- 2009, has replaced Professor Benjamin Sredni.

Avi Yisraeli 311 (photo credit: Hadassah Medical Organization)
Avi Yisraeli 311
(photo credit: Hadassah Medical Organization)
The Health Ministry’s new chief scientist doesn’t need to be shown around the office. Prof. Avi Yisraeli, who served as the ministry director-general from 2003- 2009, has replaced Prof. Benjamin Sredni, the ministry said on Monday.
For the last couple years, Yisraeli has headed the health policy, health care management and health economics department at the Hebrew University- Hadassah Medical School.
Yisraeli said he was”very surprised” by the appointment from current director-general Dr. Ronni Gamzu, but agreed because he regarded it as an important national challenge.
“I will encourage every initiative to support this significant resource – the country’s human capital and scientific and research capabilities to advance Israeli medicine,” Yisraeli said.
Yisraeli told The Jerusalem Post that he hopes to change the “tradition” that the chief scientist’s office has little money to allocate to crucial medical research. When Yisraeli entered the ministry in 2003 as director-general, the chief scientist had only NIS 2 million for allocations, but by Yisraeli’s leaving, he had multiplied it several times to NIS 9.6 million.
This time around Yisraeli said he aims to recruit new funding sources, not only the Treasury, but also companies and foundations to finance research.
Before Yisraeli became the ministry’s director-general, he served as director-general of the Hadassah Medical Organization.
His new nomination was approved by a special committee, after which Yisraeli was congratulated by Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman.

Yisraeli received his medical degree and his master’s degree in public health from Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem.
He also earned a master’s degree from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Yisraeli specialized in internal medicine.
Sredni will move to Bar-Ilan University for work in continuing education.