Debt reprieve granted to Hadassah hospital

Hadassah Medical Center was given a 90-day stay of protection from its creditors.

The Jerusalem District Court agreed on Feb. 11 to the temporary freeze in collections against the hospital, which has a debt of $367 million.

The decision left Hadassah Director General Avigdor Kaplan in charge of the hospital, along with the current management, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz.

The court also acceded to the demand by doctors that they continue to be given malpractice insurance. Without the insurance, the doctors said, they would have quit.

Hospital staffers, who received only half their January salaries due to the center’s deficit, remained on strike this week, offering only urgent treatment on a Sabbath and holiday schedule.  Staff in hospitals across Israel went on a sympathy strike for two hours on Feb. 11, the second such action in the week.

The Israeli Medical Association said in a statement on its website that if recovery does not begin at Hadassah, “further organizational actions will be considered, including sanctions and strikes in all medical institutions, to stop the severe blow to the doctors of Hadassah.”

Israel’s Health Minister Yael German has said there will be layoffs of medical staff at Hadassah, which has two campuses in Jerusalem. Earlier, she had announced a financial recovery package offered to the hospital, including a government loan of more than $14 million to be matched by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.

Hadassah Medical Center is one of the largest hospitals in Israel and the only one specializing in head trauma. — jta