World Renowned Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem may finally be able to get back to business as usual.
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The government of Israel, together with The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Hadassah, and the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO), signed an official agreement this week for a seven year plan for the financial recovery of HMO.
The Hadassah hospitals in Jerusalem have been suffering from financial difficulties, budget cuts and strikes by their employees over the last eighteen months.
In a public statement, Hadassah National President Marcie E. Natan said, “This is a milestone in our history and a step toward a long term renewal of HMO’s financial and operational future.”
The agreement was signed in in the office of Israel’s Health Minister Yael German. It officially seals a court brokered deal reached last month. Under it, the Government of Israel has pledged its support to HMO, helping ensure that it retains its place as one of Israel’s premier centers of care, research and teaching.
Last month the Israeli government and Hadassah agreed to each provide half of 3 billion Shekels ($869 million) over a seven year period to the financially troubled HMO.
The Hadassah Women’s organization was said to have agreed to provide $19 million in annual payments over the seven-year period. This money will be used to complete current projects such as a new hospital tower in Ein Kerem and to pay off loans. Hadassah will also forgive a $10 million loan which it gave the hospital. The Hadassah organization also received a guarantee that the hospital would not establish its own nonprofit fund.
The terms of the agreement will be presented to the national board of Hadassah at its annual meeting in July to be held in Las Vegas.
Natan added, “As you know, this agreement has been the focus of many months of difficult negotiations. It was made possible due to the agreement of all stakeholders, including the Government of Israel, HWZOA, HMO, the unions, doctors and nurses, non-medical staff and suppliers. And, it is thanks to all of you that we have arrived at this day.”
Professor Tamar Peretz be responsible for the implementation of the seven year recovery plan at first.
Natan concluded her statement saying, “HMO’s mission is more vital today than ever. The fast-growing State of Israel needs medical institutions that can care for the sick and injured, conduct research that pushes the frontiers of human knowledge and teaches the caregivers of the future. By putting HMO on track to return to financial stability, this agreement ensures that this mission will carry forward for years, and we hope generations, to come.”
Hadassah Hospital Jerusalem first opened on Mt. Scopus in 1939 as part of a series of medical projects in Israel funded by the Zionist Women’s Organization. Because Mt. Scopus was left as an island of Israeli territory behind the new official Jordanian border as set by the 1949 armistice between the two countries, the hospital there could no longer be used. In 1961 construction began on a new permanent home in Ein Kerem after years of changing locations.
Henrietta Szold founded the Hadassah organization in New York in 1912. It currently has more than 300, 000 members around the world and continues to support health and education causes.