(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Shmuel Muallem, for the last three years director-general of Kupat Holim
Meuhedet, resigned finally on Sunday by order of the Health Ministry because of
his involvement in alleged crimes of corruption carried out in the country’s
third-largest health fund.
RELATED:Health Ministry to Meuhedet: Fire director-general, othersEditorial: Meuhedet’s breach of trust
Muallem had worked in the fund for 42 years.
Board chairman Rabbi Yerahmiel Boyer took over his authority after Muallem told
the board of directors that he had decided to leave. Boyer will hold the
position for up to two weeks until an acting director-general will be found to
The charges against him and other members of the board were
raised by the state comptroller in a special 300-page report about the health
fund. It claims that for decades the health fund allegedly misused its budget by
illegally paying yeshiva students to switch from other funds; allowing its chief
pharmacist (who has since resigned) to run a private pharmacy with health fund
members; and taking other forbidden actions.
In an official statement,
the health fund said that it had “completed a very intensive series of
discussions” on the comptroller report during which it “proceeded to immediately
correct the shortcomings that were disclosed.” The statement continued that
these corrections included “personal conclusions in accordance with the report’s
conclusions, as required by law.”
Health Ministry directorgeneral Dr.
Ronni Gamzu, it said, will receive the full Meuhedet report.
deputy director-general Yoel Lipschitz, who is in charge of supervising the
health funds, said on Sunday night that he was waiting for Muallem’s official
letter of resignation and was observing the health fund carefully to see whether
it would carry out other orders.
Meanwhile, the Israel Police is slowly
investigating the criminal charges brought out by comptroller.