The Jerusalem Post
Hadassah board considers ousting Rotstein from top job
The Hadassah Board of Directors has unanimously decided to summon hospital head Prof. Zeev Rotstein to a hearing in order to consider terminating his employment with Hadassah, the board said in a statement.
“In order to respect Rotstein and confidentiality of the proceeding, we will not be able to elaborate further,” the board added. “There is only one thing that the board of directors is looking at: the future of Hadassah Hospital and the well-being of the hundreds of the thousands of patients treated there.” Rotstein declined to comment. The Jerusalem Post also reached out to the Hadassah headquarters in New York, but did not receive a response by press time.
Rotstein came to Hadassah in 2016 after working for 36 years at Sheba Medical Center, starting as a young cardiologist and working his way up to director of what would a few years later be chosen as one of the top hospitals in the world.
After years of decline and a deepening deficit, Hadassah was on the verge of collapse. Rotstein was brought there with a clear purpose – to turn the hospital around.
His arrival at Hadassah was not without controversy.
Shortly after taking over the helm of Jerusalem’s leading hospital, Rotstein faced a walkout by the pediatric hemato-oncology ward, at the time one of the leading departments in the country. The hospital’s reputation took a hit, but Rotstein did not cave and has since rebuilt the department with a group of leading doctors and nurses.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Rotstein was seen as a sort of rebel against the state, publicly going against the recommendations and regulations rolled out by the Health Ministry. He was even accused by the former deputy director-general of the ministry, Itamar Grotto, of taking actions that “bordered on treason against the state.”
Rotstein has also been at the forefront of the public hospitals’ battle against the state to receive additional funding, specifically in the aftermath of the pandemic, when many hospitals lost income due to lack of activity but also put out more funds treating sick COVID-19 patients.
Rotstein told the Post in June 2020 that his contract was up in two and a half years, meaning in 2023. He said then, “if they want me out at the end, I will go.” But he added that he hoped to stay.