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Our Response to the Gabbai Report

  • HWZOA is dismayed and profoundly disappointed by the Gabbai Report and its outrageous demand to take away control of the Hadassah Medical Center from HWZOA, resulting in a de facto nationalization, and its call to strip HWZOA of its properties developed for decades for the benefit of the state of Israel through billions of dollars donated by generations of our members;
  • The Gabbai Committee was formed by the Minister of Health with the responsibility of investigating the causes of the current financial crisis facing HMO;
  • At the time of the Gabbai Committee’s formation, HWZOA expressed grave reservations about its ability to provide a fair, impartial assessment because it was made up of and led by individuals from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance which have directly contributed to the current financial crisis;
  • In other words, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance were at one and the same time subject, witness and judge of their own investigation;
  • HWZOA’s worry was that this situation created a clear conflict of interest and suggested that the Gabbai Committee’s true purpose was not to get at the truth, but rather to try and validate the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance’s long-standing discrimination against Hadassah and their aspiration to nationalize HMO;
  • HWZOA appealed to the government to form a truly independent committee;
  • Unfortunately, our calls were not heeded and the Gabbai Committee moved forward despite its compromised structure – and not surprisingly, its findings are biased and its recommendations counter-productive;
  • HWZOA acknowledges that mistakes were made and has done everything in its power to address the problems;
  • However, the true root causes of this crisis relate to HMO being under-reimbursed for services, and discriminated against in order to benefit the Health Funds supported by the Government of Israel. As a result, HMO is deprived of public support provided to other hospitals, while still being expected to carry the burdens of a public hospital and a teaching hospital;
  •  For the last 9 months HWZOA has worked diligently to advance negotiations with the Government of Israel to address these root causes so that HMO can be put on the road to a sustainable recovery;
  • The Gabbai Report is a massive setback to that effort;
  • By calling for the de facto nationalization of HMO, the Report suggests that the assets developed and nurtured by our members’ donations from around the globe, who have for decades been the strong supporters of the State of Israel, be expropriated;
  • To add further insult, the Report essentially demands that HWZOA continue to raise money for the hospital after it has been taken over by the state;
  • These radical proposals are wrong for HMO – the de facto nationalization of this world-renowned hospital will jeopardize its missions to provide world class health care, research and teaching, and fundamentally alter the character of the institution;
  • Above all, these proposals are wrong for the people of Jerusalem and all of Israel who count on HMO for a quality of care that will be compromised by the abrupt de facto nationalization of the enterprise;
  • Beyond the specific danger these recommendations pose to HMO itself, it is also worth noting that this Report does not reflect the mutual respect that has and must always define the relationship between the State of Israel and the millions of Zionists worldwide who give of themselves to support projects of national importance like HMO and in actual fact might jeopardize the support of the world Jewry to the state of Israel;
  • We call on the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance and the Government of Israel to put aside the Gabbai Report and its so-called recommendations;
  • We call on them to cease the discrimination against HMO and to negotiate in good faith directly with HMO and HWZOA and to reach an agreement that will restore HMO to financial stability without undermining the connection between HMO and HWZOA;
  • And we call on them to reaffirm their previous undertaking not to nationalize HMO and to publicly express their commitment to honoring the basic rights due any organization that invests in and supports the State.
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