Israel’s public hospitals are on the verge of collapse due to heavy debts stemming from the loss of billions of shekels in revenue during the coronavirus crisis.
Not only were hospitals forced to halt all elective procedures during the crisis, medical tourism – normally the most lucrative source of revenue for Israeli hospitals – has ground to a complete halt. Furthermore, Israel’s Kupot Cholim (health funds) did not make any referrals or payments to hospitals during the height of the coronavirus crisis.
At the same time, hospitals were forced to make a significant financial outlay for hospital equipment, including respirators, lab equipment and personal protective equipment to prepare for the possibility of treating thousands of critically ill coronavirus patients.
The CEO of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Ze’ev Rotstein, said in a recent interview on Kan News that Hadassah lost billions of shekels from lost revenue and he’s unsure he’ll be able to pay the salaries of hospital staff in July.
Rotstein added that the government promised to reimburse public hospitals for the lost revenue during the crisis and the funds spent to treat coronavirus patients but Hadassah has not yet received any reimbursement. He warned that if the government doesn’t provide Hadassah with financial assistance, the hospital will have to close down.
The coronavirus crisis has left Sheba Hospital in Ramat Gan with NIS 200 million ($58 million) in debt and Rambam Hospital in Haifa with NIS 150 million ($44 million) in debt.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)