Physicians at the Hadassah Medical Organization, the Health Ministry’s hospitals, Clalit Health Services and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center earned the highest public gross salaries in the economy in 2016 – between NIS 230,000 and NIS 149,000 a month.The figures were released on Wednesday by the Finance Ministry’s wage division.A Treasury source told The Jerusalem Post that senior physicians are usually among the top earners. The top gross wages for physicians may or not include private medical services legal in voluntary hospitals such as Hadassah), special research pay and seniority pay, he said. Physicians who work in medical specialties in which there are too few specialists earn high salaries because various institutions bid for their services.Although doctors’ wages are high – the average gross monthly salary of physicians in Israel is NIS 32,499 a month – he said it doesn’t necessarily mean that there were illegal amounts paid.“We have a special branch that checks if there were any illegal amounts paid to public workers,” he said.It was the first time that the Hadassah Medical Organization’s employees were included because in 2014, HMO – which nearly went bankrupt – was recognized by the Treasury as a state-supported institution, so its salaries had to be reported.The Health Ministry has not set a limit on physicians’ salaries, even though the government restricted salaries on senior bank officials. The average monthly wage of all Hadassah employees was given as NIS 15,310, while that of Magen David Adom employees as NIS 15,840.Names of the highest earners were not given, for reasons of privacy, but descriptions were: 1. Hadassah specialist (NIS 229,815) 2. Hadassah specialist (NIS 208,312) 3. Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center anesthesiologist in cardiothoracic surgery department (NIS 191,086) 4. Health Ministry-owned hospital’s head of nuclear imaging (NIS 165.824) 5. Clalit Health Services community clinic ophthalmologist (NIS 164,488) 6. Hadassah specialist (NIS 164,061) 7. Health Ministry-owned hospital specialist (NIS 157,734) 8. Tel Aviv Sourasky head of structural cardiology service (NIS 151,570) 9. Health Ministry-owned hospital specialist (NIS 151,352) 10. Clalit Health Services community clinic gynecologist (NIS 148,752) The Hadassah Medical Organization spokeswoman said: “Since the recovery agreement came into effect between the Hadassah Medical Organization and the Treasury, we have implemented a new policy and significantly reduced the number of wage earners at Hadassah.Out of responsibility for maintaining the public coffers and the obligation to maintain an excellent medical quality as expected from a medical center such as Hadassah, the top salaries are reserved for a small group of unique senior physicians who devote all their time and talents to public medicine.”In contrast to Hadassah, she said, where all doctors are “full-timers” and private medical service operations and treatments are limited to late afternoons and evenings only, in state and Clalit-owned hospitals, doctors are permitted to perform private work outside the institution.“A large proportion of the high income of physicians in other hospitals comes from this private activity, which is not reported to the supervisor of wages, and therefore is not reflected in the salary report, which creates a distorted picture of reality,” the spokeswoman added.The Health Ministry was unavailable for comment by press time.