Following the revelations in "Israel Today": The Ministry of Health has appointed a committee to examine the treatment of patients in all hospitals • The absurdity: the findings will remain confidential forever, and will not even be passed on to patients and their families • Senior health official: "Unfortunate decision to hurt public trust"
The Ministry of Health began examining the quality of care for corona patients in all 30 general hospitals in Israel, in part against the background of the exposure in "Israel Today" in July this year about the serious failures in the corona ward at Wolfson Hospital.
However, the director general of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Hezi Levy, hurriedly informed all hospital directors that all the findings and conclusions of the investigations, including all materials prepared for the tests, would be kept confidential from the public and not even given to the 30,000 corona patients hospitalized in Israel and their families.
According to claims by hospital directors and senior doctors who spoke to Israel Today, since the outbreak of the epidemic, the Ministry of Health has not examined the quality of medical care in the corona wards, and only recently did Prof. Levy inform hospital administrators of the control committee.
Nine members were appointed to the committee, including senior officials in the Ministry of Health, including Prof. Yaron Niv, senior vice president of quality and safety at the Ministry of Health, who was appointed chairman of the committee, as well as senior directors and doctors from Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, Beilinson in Petah Tikva, Soroka in Beer Seven and more.
Prof. Levy wrote to the hospital directors on October 14 that the special committee will investigate "the quality of care for corona patients and its outcomes in hospitals in order to map gaps and trends and to bring about a steady increase in the quality of medical services provided to corona patients."
Prof. Hezi also wrote that the committee will be established as a "control and quality committee" according to the provisions of the Patient Rights Law and that "the content of the discussions to be held in the committee, the minutes, any material prepared for the hearing, summaries and conclusions will be confidential to everyone, including the patient concerned. They will be used as evidence in any legal proceedings. "
Following this, a senior employee of the Ministry of Health told Israel Today yesterday that "there is no doubt that the Ministry of Health must not make the investigations into the treatment of corona patients confidential, and the Ministry of Health has a public duty to act in full transparency with the corona." "It is very unfortunate for the director general of the ministry that he will only further increase the public's suspicion of the health care system and the treatment of the epidemic."
"Great public struggle"
The director of one of the hospitals in the country added that "the decision to keep the investigation confidential is due to the fear that the hospitals and doctors' associations will not cooperate with an open examination, but I find it very difficult to see the Ministry of Health morally and publicly protect the confidentiality of the test results." To remove secrecy. "
Former Ministry of Health Comptroller Aryeh Paz (who served in that position for about 30 years until 2013) also sharply criticized the veil of secrecy.
He said, "Prof. Levy's scandalous decision to conceal the test findings fundamentally contradicts the Ministry of Health's duty to give a full and reliable account of such a critical issue to public health."
Paz added that "in all respects, public, moral, governmental and health, the Ministry of Health must not hide from the public the findings of the investigations, even if the ministry thinks, God forbid, that it has something to hide regarding the quality of care for corona patients. I call on Health Minister Edelstein and CEO Prof. "Levy will drastically change the unfortunate decision and determine that there will be complete transparency about the committee's findings, also in order to strengthen the public's trust - which is a key tool in the fight against the plague."
Israel Today has learned that following the announcement by Prof. Levy, on October 22, Prof. Niv, chairman of the committee, wrote to all hospital directors in the country that the purpose of the investigations is to "review the quality of care for Corona patients hospitalized since the epidemic and try and locate Difficulties, and recommend improvement. "Prof. Niv noted that the committee will visit the hospitals, receive an overview of the treatment from the hospitals and collect data from Corona patients hospitalized in the hospitals and analyze the data.
Prof. Niv further announced that the Ministry of Health will prepare a questionnaire on the treatment of corona patients that will be sent to all hospital administrators, care staff, patients and their families, that hospitals will be required to present in detail to the committee their experience with corona patients including medical treatment, difficulties and barriers. For the provision of medical care.
The hospitals will also be asked to present data on Corona patients who were treated as part of a sample that the committee will conduct as part of the investigation.
Prof. Levy's announcement also came against the background of the exposure this week in "Israel Today" that nine doctors from the corona department at the Wolfson Government Hospital complained a week ago to the hospital director Dr. Anat Engel that corona patients in critical condition, some breathing, died due to omissions and mistakes Severe medical and nursing care.According to the investigation, patients suffered severe neglect after crying for hours for help and did not come to care for them and that there is also a severe shortage of medical equipment, nurses and doctors, severely injuring patients in the Corona ward and coronary intensive care unit at Wolfson.
These complaints joined complaints about a long line of very serious omissions that resulted, according to the complaint, in the deaths of Corona patients, as was raised unusually in early June this year in an internal examination coordinated by Dr. Arie Soroksky, director of the General Intensive Care Unit at Wolfson in Holon.
The serious complaints were forwarded to the hospital administrations and the Ministry of Health.
This was the first time that doctors' claims had been raised that severe and respiratory corona patients had died not only because of their illness but rather because of severe omissions and mistreatment.
The Ministry of Health did not respond until the issue closed.