Doctor's suspension delayed because of his 'vital role'

Dr. Jacky Sarov is charged with having accepted bribes from alleged crime boss Assi Abutbul.

A disciplinary court has decided to suspend the director of Ichilov hospital's emergency room, Dr. Jacky Sarov, from his post pending his upcoming trial on bribery charges - but has delayed the suspension for two months because of the "real difficulty" in finding someone to replace him, reports Yediot Tel Aviv. A disciplinary court judge said the doctor was fulfilling a "vital role" in heading an emergency room that saves lives on a daily basis, and the public's need for him to be there had to be taken into account. According to the report, Sarov is charged with having accepted bribes from alleged crime boss Assi Abutbul, allegedly taking sums ranging from NIS 800 to NIS 1,000 to arrange medical visits for Abutbul while the latter was in jail. Sarov's lawyers said the doctor had been frightened of Abutbul, who had unilaterally and surprisingly pushed money into the doctor's pockets. A criminal trial is pending, and the city of Tel Aviv asked the local authorities Disciplinary Court to suspend Sarov immediately, saying that bribery was "among the most serious crime possible" for a senior public employee, irrespective of the sums involved. But the Disciplinary Court said it would not examine evidence that would be presented at the trial, and would only decide whether the public interest favored having the doctor continue in his position or not. "Given that we are speaking about a vital role as the head of an emergency room that acts daily to save human lives, and that there is a real difficulty in finding an appropriate replacement, I am delaying the suspension for 60 days from the date of this decision," the judge said.