Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman on Tuesday nominated Dr. Eitan Hai-Am, until two years ago the director-general of Soroka University Medical Center, as minister director-general. He will replace Prof. Avi Yisraeli, who has been in the job for nearly six years and had wanted to leave the post. The nomination must be formally approved by the cabinet on Sunday. Hai-Am will be the first doctor in many years to come from Clalit Health Services, which owns Soroka, to the powerful ministry position. Before serving in the top spot at Soroka, Hai-Am was director of Clalit's Tel Aviv district. Until now, most directors-general of the ministry have come mostly from senior management positions in government hospitals or the Israel Defense Forces' Medical Corps. Litzman said he had to "make a difficult choice among good candidates." The deputy minister thanked Yisraeli, a former director-general of the Hadassah Medical Organization before he joined the ministry, for his work to improve the health system. Even though they worked together for only four months since Litzman came to the ministry, he praised Yisraeli for his work, especially on dealing with health budget matters and the H1N1 flu outbreak. Yisraeli has been eager to take a respite and plans to go on sabbatical abroad for a year.