Hospital heads demand Treasury keep medical supplier

Finance Ministry tender aims to replace Netanya-based Sarel company.

Long empty hospital corridor (illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Long empty hospital corridor (illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
A group of public hospital directors has protested plans by the Treasury to replace the company that supplies medical centers with medications.
The group, headed by Dr. Chezi Levy of Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center, sent a letter of protest to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman, over plans to find a replacement for Netanya- based Sarel, the company that currently does the job.
Treasury accountant-general Michal Abadi-Boyanjo recently initiated the public tender to choose a different company. Levy responded on behalf of himself and his colleagues, and warned that the decision was liable to “endanger lives.”
We don’t understand this step,” he said, citing fears that the move would cause chaos.
“There is national importance to continuity in supplying drugs to the hospitals, and Sarel maintains the national drug and medical equipment supply in ordinary times and in emergencies,” he wrote. “While better supervision of the company is needed, and we are happy that the health ministry has set up a supervising body, its services as an experienced and reliable company should continue.”
The Treasury decided to extend the current supplier’s contact for four months until Sarel, which has done the job for decades, is replaced. But Levy demanded that the company’s contract be extended by several years, giving Sarel time to become more efficient.
“This is no game. A one-sided decision like this is liable to bring about a catastrophe,” he said, in which medications will not arrive at the hospitals as needed.
Litzman reportedly opposed replacing Sarel, but Kahlon gave full backing to Abadi-Boyanjo, a former Health Ministry official in charge of supervising the health funds.