Former Hadassah director Shlomo Mor-Yosef, who currently heads the National Insurance Institute, on Wednesday categorically denied taking millions in bonuses from the company before leaving it NIS 850 million ($242 million) in debt, adding that a report alleging that he had done so was a deliberate attempt to shift the focus away from an institutional problem.
“Anybody familiar with the system understands that this is a personal attack, vicious, orchestrated and organized, in order to switch the problem from something national to something personal,” Mor-Yosef said in a statement. “You want to check the terms of my retirement? Please [go ahead]… They talk about the bonuses, but there is one thing they don’t mention: I didn’t take the bonuses that they offered me. They are still at Hadassah.”
Mor-Yosef was responding to a report by the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth based on financial documents that allegedly showed Hadassah voluntarily awarded him bonuses totaling NIS 1.8 million ($510,000) over the last several years of his tenure before he departed in 2011, on top of a retirement agreement worth millions, despite the company being NIS 850 million in debt at the time.
In addition to denying the allegations, Mor-Yosef insisted that he had done a good job while managing Hadassah.
“I’ve been in the public realm for many years — four years as an outstanding director at Soroka, 11 years as an outstanding director at Hadassah and now two years as director of the National Insurance Institute,” Mor-Yosef said. “Over 11 years, I brought Hadassah to great heights… I was party to raising funds in excess of over a billion and a half shekels. During my time I oversaw the construction of the [Davidson Hospital Tower] that will be the foundation of medical treatment in Jerusalem for the next 50 years; this I did in partnership with the Health Ministry and treasury.”
Hadassah hospitals in Jerusalem were still in a state of disarray Wednesday following a Jerusalem District Court decision to grant the hospitals’ administrations’ request for a stay of proceedings, temporarily protecting them from creditors, and to appoint two trustees to formulate a rehabilitation plan for the hospitals, which are currently struggling with a deficit of NIS 1.7 billion ($482 million).
The decision was a victory for the medical centers. For the next 90 days, they will be able to continue operations under their current management, led by current director Dr. Avigdor Kaplan, but their creditors will not be able to collect on any debts. Hospital employees will, on average, receive 90 percent of their salaries.
However, following the decision administrative and medical staff intensified their strikes and were only performing emergency procedures on Wednesday.
“We’re prepared to sit down and negotiate tonight, but we won’t do it so long as the full salaries of the workers haven’t been paid,” Ilana Cohen, head of the nurses’ union, was quoted by Maariv saying.
Meanwhile, as part of its decision, the court appointed trustees Lipa Meir, who was hand-picked by Hadassah, and Asher Axelrod, who will have the authority to unilaterally change the collective agreements of employees.
The Israel Medical Association had objected to Meir as a trustee due to his affiliation with Clalit Health Services, one of Hadassah’s biggest creditors. In appointing the trustees, Mintz said that Meir’s familiarity with the company would be an asset, but in order to address a potential conflict of interest, he appointed a second trustee, Axelrod, an attorney, who will have to decide today whether to accept the appointment.
“We are happy that the judge understood that there must be both sides in order to reach an agreement and that Lipa, with all due respect, is not the only trustee in light of the conflict of interest,” the IMA said in a statement.
The trustees are required to notify the court within five days what kind of protection they will offer insured creditors, how they intend to resolve the issues of employee liability and how to pay for malpractice insurance.