I have just read a seriously disingenuous article in Ynet about Hadassah. They are accusing the managers of continuing to take large salaries, and to support this claim, they quote figures for how much each manager “costs Hadassah” (allowing them to include pension contributions, Keren Hishtalmut, insurance costs etc.)

I know personally one of the managers well: Yoram Weiss used to be head of Anaesthesia before he was asked to take on the role of Medical Director when this crisis became really bad. He did this without any increase in salary (as noted in the paper but then ignored), and knowing that it is a tough and unpopular job. There is no way I would agree to be standing in his shoes right now – not for twice his salary. I would also say that in his 3.5 years as head of Anaesthesia in Hadassah, he made the department into one of the best places to train in the country, earning the respect of all his Residents. I have no idea how this mess will end, but Yoram seems to be someone who at least has a chance of moving things in the right direction.

Yoram Weiss Photo: courtesy Hadassah HMO

I have only seen Avigdor Kaplan (the Chief Exec) from afar, and have only heard him speak twice. However on both those occasions he impressed me with what appeared to be an honest aim to rescue Hadassah, and an inspirational dream of bringing us back to our position at the top of Israeli healthcare. He also came in during the peak of the crisis, also taking on a job that was certain to be unpopular and tough.

I know that we are on strike, but as the doctors’ committee chairs said at the start – we are standing side-by-side with the management and asking for the government for support (not just a bailout. The current system of reimbursement for Israeli hospitals prevents almost any hospital from covering its costs).

So whoever thinks it’s a smart idea to make these personal attacks on the people who have taken on the challenge of running Hadassah doesn’t seem to have Hadassah’s interests at heart. Nor those of the population of Jerusalem.