The Hemato-Oncology Department treats children in need of a bone marrow transplant. Following the shortage in ward beds, the hospital's director, Professor Zeev Rotstein, decided to transfer and treat some of the children who need a transplant in the adult ward.
The six pediatricians, headed by department director Prof. Mickey Weintraub, protested the decision, claiming it would endanger the children's health—and so, decided to resign.
As reported Sunday for the first time in Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli donor agreed to donate a million dollars to add the required number of beds to save the Pediatrics Department. The only condition was that the resigning doctors withdraw their resignation and remain in the hospital.
But on Sunday, the six doctors announced they would not retract their resignations and that they refuse to go into mediation with the hospital's board.
Attorney Orna Lin, who represents the resigning doctors, stated that the parties found themselves in a breach of trust, which is difficult to heal. "There are six doctors, each of whom had come to the independent realization that they cannot bring themselves to work at Hadassah Hospital under this administration," she said, adding "they just want to leave."
According to Lin, "The public doesn't know Prof. Rotstein personally or professionally, but the six doctors do and each of them has been exposed to his method of management. It has come to a point in which the hospital's director made a unilateral decision that is professionally impossible—to perform a bone marrow transplant in children with cancer in the adult ward. The doctors told him that it was not acceptable and that they refuse to take responsibility for this, and therefore decided to resign."
Insiders added that the doctors cannot be forced to work in subjection to a person they do not appreciate or respect, and that despite the efforts of the hospital's director to separate them, they stand united in their decision.
The doctors' decision came as a surprise to the healthcare system, raising questions regarding their motives. "There's a donor who is willing to pay for the extra beds, which would prevent performing bone marrow transplants for children in the adult ward, so why are the doctors stubbornly holding onto their stance? What do they want? To see the Hadassah department close?"
Hadassah officials said on Sunday that the doctors have gone too far with their protest. "They could have said that if their professional requests are fulfilled, they would withdraw their resignation letters. They are treating pediatric cancer patients who require treatment—you can't wage wars of ego at their expense."
On the other hand, the hospital's management is also standing firm, and despite the offered donation, refuses to take Prof. Weintraub back.
"After rejecting every solution offered to him, I decided to accept the resignation of Prof. Weintraub and in his place, we appointed a new acting director, Dr. Gal Goldstein," said Prof. Rotstein. "As for the other doctors, I gave in to all their demands, and for them, the door remains open."
However, Rotstein emphasized that he has already begun negotiating to recruit other physicians and if those attempts fall short—he would not hesitate to appeal to the court and seek an injunction against the resigning doctors.