The Health Ministry on Tuesday named Prof. Nachman Ash as the replacement for coronavirus czar Prof. Ronni Gamzu.
Gamzu, who took up the position in August, said he was committed to returning to his role as the head of Tel Aviv's Ichilov Medical Center on November 13. Before that, there will be an overlap in order to ensure a smooth transition.
Ash, 56, served as the IDF surgeon general, retiring in 2011 after 25 years of service with the rank of brigadier general.
He received his medical degree from Tel Aviv University in 1986 and completed a Master’s degree in Medical Informatics at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health, Sciences and Technology in Boston.
Ash is also a professor at Ariel University. His wife, Dr. Shifra Ash, is the head of pediatric oncology at Rambam Healthcare Campus in Haifa.
Between 2012 and 2013 he served as the Health Ministry's senior deputy director-general for Health Informatics, which uses information technology, communications and healthcare to improve patient care.
During that time, Ash was responsible for Health Information Technology and Information Management for Israel's health system.
In August 2013, Ash joined Maccabi Healthcare Services as the chief director of the Sharon district in central Israel. He currently serves as Maccabi's Deputy CEO for Health Affairs.
Dr. Zeev Feldman, deputy director of the Israel Medical Association, praised the appointment, saying that, "with my prior acquaintance with Nachman, I am not surprised by his willingness to enlist in this national mission."
"I hope that the rational voices will be heard and we do not fall victim to political bickering and personal interests," Feldman added. "Prof. Ash's success will be a success for us all."