An elderly woman. [illustrative].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
After a private elder-care provider responsible for hundreds of nursing-home patients in the capital threatened to terminate its services and staff at the end of the month to avert a court-ordered debt, the Jerusalem Municipality on Thursday filed an injunction to prevent the move.
According to the 30-page lawsuit filed in the Jerusalem District Court, Idan Association Community Services for the Elderly in Jerusalem said it will cease services and fire 300 employees on March 31 in an attempt to save the money needed to pay off a court-ordered debt of NIS 8 million.
In a statement release by the municipality, Mayor Nir Barkat said the threatened stoppage of services to the capital’s most vulnerable population is unacceptable, adding he is working in coordination with the Histadrut labor federation to ensure elder care continues unabated.
The municipality said it had worked with Idan in the past to reduce and structure its debts over a three-year period to no avail, resulting in the court ruling.
Meanwhile, Idan’s executives claimed they could not pay the debt due to spending NIS 1m. in legal fees used to hire a lawyer to fight the case, the municipality said.
“This situation, which risks dumping hundreds of elderly patients and employees on the streets in order to put pressure on the municipality is wrong,” the municipality’s statement said. “It is intolerable and the city is not willing to put up with it.”
In the court filing, the municipality is seeking to temporarily transfer ownership to a municipal representative until another management company is found.
Idan Association Community Services for Elderly in Jerusalem was founded in 1985.