Jerusalem’s veteran general hospital Bikur Cholim will apparently remain alive after all after Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman decided to accept a recovery plan that will allow it to continue. Litzman, a Gur hassid who did not want to see the largely haredi hospital in the center of town close, said he would work to get funding for the hospital staffers during the coming month and transfer wages before the Pessah holiday.
The Treasury has for years been keen on closing down the 200-bed hospital, arguing that it is a privately owned institution owned by Russian oligarch Arkadi Gaydamak and should not get state money -- and that the capital’s other hospitals can take up the slack. However, it is managed by a non-profit organization.The recovery program was presented by the hospital management, and the deputy minister decided to accept it.
The Health Ministry said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is formally the health minister, agreed that the hospital is necessary in the center of Jerusalem and to give medical care to tens of thousands of people.
No details were provided on whether there will be dismissals among the 650-member staff, changes in departments and functions or worsened conditions for those who remain.