Health Ministry D-G: No decision on Hadassah Medical Organization director

Ministry working to ensure medical treatment is satisfactory and that HMO is carrying out commitments in recovery program.

November 2, 2014 18:08
1 minute read.

Man lying in a hospital bed at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem [illustrative].. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Health Ministry has conducted three checks of the medical care at Hadassah University Medical Centers in the past month and found that it is “good,” according to ministry director- general Prof. Arnon Afek.

But he said that the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), which has been suffering from employee displeasure, bad headlines, resignations of senior physicians and lawsuits as it carries out a painful recovery program, “is a voluntary organization and not owned by the ministry, so [the ministry] cannot decide who is its director-general.”

Afek told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that he spends a lot of time dealing with the crisis, including his decision to halt organ transplants at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem for a month.

Afek said on Saturday night that his decision was “in coordination with the recommendation of Prof. Rafael Beyar, director-general of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and chairman of Israel Transplant, who visited the Jerusalem hospital to survey what has been going on at Hadassah.

He said the ministry wants to make sure that the medical treatment is satisfactory and that HMO is carrying out its commitments in the recovery program.

Afek said he is also in contact with Hadassah – The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, which owns the HMO. “But we can’t dictate who runs HMO,” he stated.

A dispute between management and Hadassah doctors over the dismissal of physicians as part of its recovery program led to irregularities in the function of the organ transplant unit that allegedly endangered patients.

As a result of the conflict, a surgeon said by the hospital department chairmen’s committee to have “less experience in transplants in recent years” was assigned by management to perform a kidney transplant on a teenage girl instead of the surgeon management wanted to fire, and “her condition deteriorated.”

Hadassah spokeswoman Racheli Goldblatt denied that the girl’s condition deteriorated but said acting HMO director-general Prof. Tamar Peretz consulted with Prof. Eitan Mor at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson campus who advised changes in treatment.

The girl underwent another operation and is now improving.

The department chairmen and Amnon Bruchian, the head of the union of Hadassah administrative, technical and maintenance workers, charge that the current management is “amateurish and incompetent.”

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