Hospitals Protest Government Underfunding

Dr. Zeev Rotstein, manager of the Hadassah Hospitals, at Hadassah Ein Karem, in Yerushalayim. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Managers of seven public hospitals staged a protest outside the Finance Ministry on Wednesday, decrying the government’s failure to provide funding amid the coronavirus crisis.

To dramatize their point, they set out empty beds under signs that said, “Soon, there will be no hospitals left to save,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

Hadassah-University Medical Center head Prof. Zeev Rotstein said: “We’ve reached a line that is already red; we crossed it a long time ago. How can it be that the State of Israel is at war, and the soldiers at the front – the [medical] teams – are being sent into battle without resources? We can’t pay their salary at the end of the month… It’s just a bad dream.

“Hadassah is inundated with patients. As of this morning it is treating 140 corona patients, and I don’t have anywhere to pay salaries to my employees from. I do not want to be a hospital manager who cannot pay salaries at the end of the month,” he said.

Laniado Hospital CEO Nadav Chen said that “public hospitals have been starving and deprived for many years. The health care system sees us as a stepson of the system, a negligible thing that can be starved, silenced and swept under the rug. We managed to move forward despite the famine, but the corona plague devoured our last cards.

“The Finance Ministry met with us and promised to give us equal funding, but did not keep its promises,” he said.

Also participating in the protest were Shaare Tzedek Medical Center director Prof. Ofer Marin, Nazareth’s English Hospital director Prof. Fahed Hakim and Nazareth’s Holy Family Hospital director Prof. Ibrahim Harbaji.

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