Nursing a grudge
Hebrew Media Review

Nursing a grudge

Hadassah’s strike continues; female candidate for president sparks interest

Workers of Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem protest outside the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem, on Monday, February 10, 2014. (photo credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Workers of Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem protest outside the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem, on Monday, February 10, 2014. (photo credit: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

After more than a week of steady coverage, Hadassah’s ongoing strike and the unremitting blame game continue to be highlighted in Friday’s Hebrew papers, as the presidential bid and its new female candidate also take top billing.

Israel Hayom writes that various Israeli hospitals are taking advantage of the strike at Hadassah to approach the hospital’s nurses with job offers they cannot resist. The move comes in direct opposition to an order by the Health Ministry director general not to hire nurses from Hadassah at this time. According to the paper, there is a statewide shortage of emergency nurses.

“Presently two male nurses want to switch to Ichilov, 10 female nurses have already left, and four have submitted their resignation,” said Shuli Brosh, head of the staff of emergency nurses at Hadassah.

Yedioth Ahronoth focuses on the revisions to the original complaint Hadassah filed to the courts last week, which foreshadow the present crisis, and provide insight into the tension between the hospital and the Finance Ministry that preceded the strike.

In an earlier draft of the bill, Hadassah accused the government of causing the deficit by not allocating resources equally among the hospitals. Unlike state hospitals, the statement charged, Hadassah’s debts are not covered by the Treasury. However, this accusation did not make it into the final complaint that was submitted. The reason, according to the paper, is that at the time, Hadassah had drafted it in collaboration with a Finance Ministry representative who refused to allow allegations against the ministry to appear before the court.

“Representatives from Hadassah met with the health and finance ministries for the recovery plan, and the Finance Ministry did not allow a statement about its responsibility for the deficit in the request,” a source from the hospital told Yedioth Ahronoth. “When he clarified that no assistance would be provided if these clauses were not removed, it became obvious why they were removed.”

Yedioth Ahronoth also emphasized that former Hadassah director Dr. Shlomo Mor Yosef’s daughter, a senior nephrologist, is participating in the strike. Mor Yosef came under fire this past week for taking millions in bonuses from the hospital during his term — allegations he denied shortly after.

In an op-ed in Haaretz, Roni Linder-Ganz and Rotem Shtarkman lambaste Mor Yosef for introducing the option of private healthcare at Hadassah and creating a hierarchy between patients of differing economic means, and the doctors that work privately and those that don’t. While the move does not explain the present economic crisis, it points to the hospital’s larger moral failings, they claim. “Worst of all, it damages trust and distorts the relationship between doctors and patients in a public health system, which is supposed to be based on treatment according to the medical condition of a patient and not according to his financial state,” they write.

Presidency heats up

After ex-Supreme Court justice Dalia Dorner announced she will run for Israel’s presidency on Thursday — the first female candidate — Israel Hayom describes the upcoming campaign as having the largest number of candidates for president in the history of the State of Israel.

But columnist Matti Tochfeld expresses his reservations about the former justice in an op-ed. “Shechtman and Dorner’s political abilities, which is crucial to winning, are identical: completely lacking. Therefore, the house on Presidents Street will likely not be occupied by either one,” he writes.

Former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Former Supreme Court justice Dalia Dorner (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The paper also features a survey of readers on the presidency: 72% of respondents said the presidency should be secured by public vote, rather than governmental appointment; 63.8% said they believe the role of president is important; 53.6% said they would support an extension of President Peres’s term; and 59% believed the NIS 500-million budget for president was not being appropriated correctly.

“With every passing day, another candidate joins the race,” Maariv reports, chiming in to the discussion. According to the paper, MKs from Yesh Atid were planning to support particular candidates, but were informed they must hold off.

“Lapid doesn’t want MKs to commit in advance to certain candidates, in order to keep the option open to surprise [everyone] with an interesting and original candidate for president,” an unnamed Yesh Atid MK said. The paper suggests that the nominee would probably be female, and that biochemist Ruth Arnon remains the most likely candidate.

Crime does pay

Maariv features a report on the grants Palestinian security prisoners receive from the Palestinian Authority, which amount to some $US 100 million annually. According to a report submitted to the British parliament, the longer the incarceration, the larger the monthly salaries. A prisoner with a maximum of a three-year sentence receives NIS 1,400 per month; those with more than a 30-year punishment collect NIS 12,000.

The report includes the testimony of a prisoner identified only as “Hosseini,” who describes the financial incentive behind his terrorist activities.

“Because of my difficult financial situation, I decided to organize a fabricated plan against the Shin Bet so that I’d be arrested and receive more than five years in prison,” he said. The goal of his incarceration was to fund his wedding, he explained. With a five-year sentence, at NIS 4,000 per month, he will leave prison with a tidy NIS 240,000 in his bank account.

The report also maintains that the PA provides stipends for released prisoners, and that those released in a recent swap with Israel will receive $US 1,400 per month, for a period of three years.

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