Doctors top public sector pay in Israel


19 of the 20 top public sector wage earners are doctors - the highest has gross montlhy earnings of NIS 127,888.

Senior doctors in Israel earned the highest pay in the public sector in 2014. According to figures from the director of the Ministry of Finance Wage and Labor Agreement Department, the top 20 wage earners in the public sector are doctors, except for the Ombudsman of the Israeli Judiciary in 18th place. Other than the Ombudsman and five senior employees in the defense industries, the top 100 wage earners in the public sector are all doctors.

Like its predecessors, the Ministry of Finance's report does not include additional salaries paid to doctors at government hospitals through the hospitals' health corporations, which are technically considered independent entities. Most of the highest paid doctors in the report are therefore from Clalit Health Services (CHS) hospitals, where doctors receive a single pays slip that includes all their salary components. The Ministry of Finance admits that had they cross-referenced all the pay received by doctors at government hospitals, including Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, and Rambam Medical Center, at least some of those doctors would have been near the top of the list ahead of the CHS hospital doctors. The Ministry of Finance has been promising for several years that it would publish a report "soon" consolidating the data, and Ministry of Finance sources today sounded confident than ever, stating that 90% of the work on the consolidated report had already been completed.

The highest wage earner in the public sector was a gynecologist at a CHS hospital with a gross monthly salary of NIS 127,888, followed by the women's health department manager at a CHS hospital with a NIS 126,782 gross monthly salary. In third place was Dr. Mohana Htib, the manager of the intensive care unit at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, a government hospital near Tiberias, with NIS 121,705. Fourth on the list was a doctor from Assaf Harofeh Medical Center with a NIS 118, 925 gross monthly salary who received his entire pay from the hospital's health corporation, an unusual phenomenon. Salary from a hospital's health corporation usually accounts for no more than 30% of the physician's total pay.

Prof. Gabriel Szendro, head of the Vascular Surgery Department at Soroka Medical Center (a CHS hospital), who had the highest salary nationwide a number of years ago, has fallen to eighth place, even though his salary has consistently risen, reaching NIS 114,900 a month. In 10th place was a doctor described in the report as a CHS "senior specialist," who earned NIS 111, 022 a month. Although half of the medical faculty graduates in Israel are women, there is not even a single woman among the top 20 earners. Women begin to appear on the list only from 21st place and below, and even then at a ratio of one woman to each five men.

Health corporations, which are also called "research funds," were founded at government hospitals as a separate legal entity for the purpose of making use of the hospitals' infrastructure in the afternoon, while evading collective labor agreements. The idea was mainly to perform surgery after regular working hours through more flexible employment. Over the years, however, at least some of these corporations have become an integral part of the remuneration system for doctors, and are not confined to afternoon surgical activity.

According to the report, 27% of the employees at Sheba Medical Center are also employed by the hospital's health corporation, compared with 16% at Assaf Harofeh, 12% at Wolfson Medical Center, and a mere 6% at Poriya. While the average gross monthly pay of doctors in the civil service is NIS 32,431, the average gross monthly pay of doctors also receiving pay from a health corporation is NIS 41,130, not including the additional pay received by some doctors also working in the afternoon at the health funds and in private practice.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 16, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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