Man Accused of ‘Fixing’ Hospital Wait Times Released to House Arrest

YERUSHALAYIM -
Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

An individual whom police accused of victimizing chareidi families and is at the root of a bribery scandal at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital has been released to house arrest by a Yerushalayim court. The individual presented himself to families who were waiting for elective surgery at the hospital as a senior aide to top staff in the Health Ministry, and promised to enable those waiting for an operation to “cut the line” – for a fee.

According to the individual’s attorney, the man was not trying to profit off sick people, and in many cases offered his services without a fee.

The individual claimed to be a confidante of Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman and of Rabbi Elimelech Feuer, who is an expert on medical procedures and who is consulted by thousands of people a year on arranging medical procedures.

Several doctors were also questioned in the case, accused of receiving bribes from the individual in order to advance the operations of his clients. The doctors have denied the charges, but the investigation is ongoing.

In a statement, police said that the individual “cynically taking advantage of sick people in difficult circumstances who are seeking any solution that can bring them hope.” So far, they said, there are five cases open against the individuals, and more are expected to be opened.

The individual’s attorney said that it was police who were “cynically” trying to throw the book at his client. “At worst, he is guilty of fraud, and this is not an offense that one should be sent to prison for.” He added that police have been investigating his client for five months, but only recently were able to discover “very shaky evidence against him. This is a person who has helped many ill people get better treatment at hospitals, and very often he did this on a voluntary basis.”