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Court agrees to protect Hadassah hospital from creditors

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hadassah Medical Center was given a 90-day stay of protection from its creditors.

The Jerusalem District Court agreed on Tuesday to the temporary freeze in debt collection against the hospital, which has a deficit of $367 million.

The decision left Hadassah Director General Avigdor Kaplan in charge of the hospital, along with the current management, according to 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 Tuesday, offering only urgent treatment on a Sabbath and holiday schedule.  Staffs in hospitals across Israel went on a sympathy strike for two hours on Tuesday morning, the second such action in the past 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 in the week she 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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the crisis Monday evening.

“We need to find a solution that strikes a balance between the need to preserve Hadassah hospital and to prevent another crisis from recurring in another few years because it will be the citizens of Israel that will bear the burden of the cost,” he said.

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

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