Parents of the children in the Hemato-Oncology Department at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem are calling for hospital director Prof. Zeev Rothtein to retract a decision, in which the department will recruit new doctors, using the aid of medical teams from Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, to help abate their shortage in medical personnel in the aftermath of resignations over its closure.
The parents have erected a protest tent in Sacher Park in the capital.
According to the parents, the team expected to arrive at the hospital is not sufficiently skilled and has no practical experience in caring for children.
In addition, they believe that doctors who come from Sheba should not treat their children because it would cut off the important therapeutic continuum required in treating children with cancer, and also because there is a serious shortage of doctors treating children at Sheba Hospital.
The parents filed a petition with the High Court of Justice yesterday, asking the court to grant the Minister of Health permission to open the pediatric hemato-oncology department at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Rothstein, according to them because of a series of failed management decisions that hit the department where their children were treated for years.
The parents claim that Prof. Rothstein tried to increase the hospital's income through the transplant center, which will accommodate "therapeutic tourism" patients at the expense of the health of Israeli children.
"This decision, which was made without any consultation with a professional, ignited a severe crisis with the department's physicians, who announced that they would not be able to accept this plan both for reasons of conscience and for the inability to meet the burden required of them. Hadassah CEO," the parents wrote in a petition to the High Court of Justice.
The third demand included opening a criminal investigation against Prof. Rothstein. The parents claim that the health minister and the attorney general turned a blind eye to a series of serious criminal offenses committed at Hadassah Hospital, which required the opening of an investigation.
On Sunday, the six senior doctors and the three resident doctors will complete their hospital duties after their letters of resignation come into force. The director of the new department, Dr. Gal Goldstein, has over the past few weeks overlapped with outgoing department head Prof. Mickey Weintraub and is expected to begin running the department, even though most of the children have left for other hospitals.
As the new department begins to operate, the parents will protest a few miles away. "From the tent we will call out and cry out that we have nowhere to go, and we demand that our doctors be allowed to continue their holy work.
"It is inconceivable that Jerusalem will lose six of the world's best doctors in their fields, and the best in the world in humanity, compassion and connection to their patients," the parents said.
"We will all stay in the tent and we will not leave until we find a solution in which all the doctors will return to caring for the children. This struggle is for all the children of Jerusalem and for the sake of public medicine in Israel," they summarized.
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)