Litzman backs hospital in 'abusive mother' affair
Following Jerusalem riots, deputy health minister visits Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center, where child whose mother is suspected of starving him is hospitalized. Hospital's director-general criticizes silence in light of attacks on doctors
Ronen Medzini • Ynet
Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman visited the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem on Thursday morning, following riots in Jerusalem over the arrest of a woman suspected of starving her toddler son. The child is still hospitalized.
At the start of the visit, the hospital's Director-General Shlomo Mor Yosef asked Litzman why he had avoided condemning the ultra-Orthodox community's attacks on the hospital.
"There is no reason to refer to the deputy director-general with these names – Mengele, a filthy traitor," Mor Yosef told Litzman. "The hospital is a place of grace, not of war… No one speaks and not one utters anything. Is this what the State of Israel has to say to its doctors?"
Litzman responded, "I give all the backing needed to Hadassah and its doctors." He added that pashkavilim (wall posters) has been published against him too and that he has been attacked by many.
The deputy minister, who paid NIS 200,000 (about $51,645) in bail in order to allow the mother to be released and put under house arrest, recently infuriated the medical system due to his failure to support the hospital, after declaring that he plans to look into its conduct in terms of the treatment of the child.
A senior health official criticized Litzman, whose behavior he said "went beyond any standard." According to the source, "Litzman should be backing the health system and its doctors, rather than slamming the system before looking into things.
"The health system expects the deputy minister to fully back the system, especially when looking at the results and the child's medical condition. The deputy minister abandoned the doctors in favor of the community he belongs to."
The hospital and its management have been dealing in the past two weeks with a harsh attack by haredi elements raising claims against the way the toddler is being treated.
"This is an unbridled attack on one of the best hospitals in the country," said Dr. Yoram Blachar, head of the Israeli Medical Association. "Hurting the Hadassah hospital is like hurting the entire Israeli society.