Hospital head ready to apologize in row over children’s cancer unit
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Hospital head ready to apologize in row over children’s cancer unit

Hadassah Ein Kerem CEO Zeev Rotstein says he wants to talk with doctors who resigned, patients’ health most important

Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center CEO Zeev Rotstein speaks during a Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee meeting at the Knesset on the crisis at Hadassah on March 7, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center CEO Zeev Rotstein speaks during a Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee meeting at the Knesset on the crisis at Hadassah on March 7, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The head of Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem said on Tuesday he was prepared to apologize to six pediatric oncologists who resigned over ongoing tensions with the hospital chief.

Michael Weintraub, the head of the city’s only pediatric hemato-oncology unit, and five other senior doctors in the department quit in a mass resignation on Sunday. The unit treats children with leukemia and other severe blood diseases.

They blamed hospital management for what they described as a severe failure to invest in the staff. The statement in which they announced their resignation contained no further details on their argument with management.

Hadassah Ein Kerem CEO Zeev Rotstein told Israel Radio that his main concern is the well being of the children being treated in the hospital’s pediatric hemato-oncology unit and that he was ready to speak to the six doctors who resigned in order “to bring them home.”

Rotstein also said he hoped the six doctors would speak with mediator Kobi Amsalem, a former Finance Ministry official appointed by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman on Tuesday morning to try and broker an agreement between the two sides.

Families of patients from the pediatric hemato-oncology unit at Jerusalem‘s Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, demonstrate in support of the unit‘s director Prof. Michael Weintraub, near the capital‘s Ministry of Health on February 9, 2017. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Families of patients from the pediatric hemato-oncology unit at Jerusalem‘s Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, demonstrate in support of the unit‘s director Prof. Michael Weintraub, near the capital‘s Ministry of Health on February 9, 2017. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The resignation of the six senior doctors did not take effect immediately and Weintraub said Sunday they would try to minimize harm to the patients.

“In the coming months we will invest the maximum effort to take care of an orderly transfer of patients to the teams that will take on the responsibility of caring for children — between Hadassah and other centers,” he said in a statement.

Parents of children in the ward demonstrated outside the hospital Sunday in support of the doctors and called on Litzman to approve transfer of the pediatric hemato-oncology unit to the capital’s Shaare Zedek hospital.

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