Prof. Zeev Rotstein: Meet the man in charge of Israel's health basket

#39: Prof. Zeev Rotstein

Zeev Rotstein (photo credit: Courtesy)
Zeev Rotstein
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In August, Prof. Zeev Rotstein, Hadassah Medical Center’s director-general, was elected chairman of Israel’s health basket committee, the powerful body that determines all services, medications, medical equipment and devices that Israelis are entitled to receive according to the National Health Insurance Law.
In this new role, he hopes to work with all relevant pharmaceutical companies to put forth a plan that will guarantee the Israeli public broad and effective medical options under increasing budgetary constraints.
“This is one of the most important positions in the Israeli health system, and I will assume full responsibility and act for the public good,” Rotstein said. “Our top priority is to include lifesaving drugs in the health basket.”
See the full list of The World's Most Influential Jews>>
In January, the Health Basket Committee announced the addition of 107 medical technologies worth NIS 460 million to the health basket.
Among the technologies added for 2019 were multiple treatments for those suffering from solid tumors and hematologic cancers.
Rotstein took over as director of Hadassah when it was in a managerial and financial crisis. At the time, Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said, “The important and urgent task is now to save Hadassah from collapse, and to direct it on the path to success, as rapidly as possible. I am confident that Prof. Rotstein is the most appropriate person for this role.”
Since then, Litzman’s words have proven to be accurate.
Rotstein – who in February 2016 began at the helm of Hadassah after serving at Sheba for the previous 36 years, the last dozen as its director and CEO – is seen as the man who turned the hospital around. He brought new creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to Hadassah, repositioning it as a leading international center with scientific and medical achievements that contribute to the reputation and economy of the State of Israel.
He is responsible for recruiting Dr. Gal Goldstein to serve as head of the department of pediatric hemato-oncology, who – together with Prof. Yosef Laver, Hadassah’s Pediatric Cancer Center director – went on to fill the ranks with experienced, dedicated doctors. Today, the unit, which suffered heavily under the former management crisis, has been completely reinvented.
Rotstein is a specialist in cardiology and medical management, and holds a Nursing Home Administrator degree from Tel Aviv University. A clinical associate professor at Hebrew University and an honorary fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, his work has been published in about 100 publications, including in medical journals, books, articles and abstracts. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Nicosia, the largest university in Cyprus.