Israel's top public health official resigns

Prof. Siegal Sadetzki / Photo: Eyal Izhar, Globes

Prof. Siegal Sadetzki accuses the current heads of the Ministry of Health of losing direction and ignoring professional advice.

Prof. Siegal Sadetzki, head of public health services at the Ministry of Health, has resigned. In announcing her resignation on her Facebook page this morning, Sadetzki outlined the way in which she believed that the coronavirus pandemic should be dealt with, and stated that she had tendered her resignation to Ministry of Health director general Prof. Hezi Levy.

Prof. Sadetzki enjoyed the full backing of the ministry's previous director general, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, and was the closest of the professional staff at the ministry to the decision making process during the first wave of the virus in Israel. Now, Sadetzki points an accusing finger at the ministry's conduct, saying, "The first wave was characterized by professional and conscientious leadership. Unfortunately, for several weeks the compass of the treatment of the pandemic has lost direction."

Sadetzki said that once it became clear that the rapid resumption of social and economic activity, after Israel had successfully dealt with the first wave, had led to steeply rising rates of infection, action should have been taken fast, but that instead, decision making had become cumbersome and the heads of the Ministry of Health ignored professional advice. She said she hoped that the new restrictions announced yesterday would be effective, but that Israel was heading towards dangerous territory.

"We are looking on in frustration as time runs out. For these reasons I reached the conclusion that in the new conditions that have come about in which my professional opinion is not accepted, I can no longer assist effective action to halt the spread of the virus," Prof Sadetzki concluded.

Prof. Sadetzki was appointed head of public health services in January 2019. Before that, she was  head of the cancer and radiation epidemiology unit in the the Gertner Institute for Health Policy and Epidemiology at the Sheba Medical Center. 

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 7, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Prof. Siegal Sadetzki / Photo: Eyal Izhar, Globes
Prof. Siegal Sadetzki / Photo: Eyal Izhar, Globes
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