A Hadassah doctor speaks out about the crisis

10 Feb

by Dr. Ilana Parkes


Image courtesy of Aylana Siegel-Richman

Yesterday marked 3 years since I moved to Israel. Who would have thought that on my third ‘Aliyaversary’ I would be an Israeli doctor on strike, spending the day at protests, fighting to save Hadassah, the hospital I now – sometimes quite literally! – call home? Over the past 2 years working at Hadassah, I have come to love and appreciate the spirit of friendship in its corridors, the expectation for excellence and the dedication of its workers who put their hearts and souls and many extra hours in to heal and help the citizens and residents of Jerusalem and many others from all over Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Hadassah is one of the leading hospitals in the Middle East in clinical care, research and teaching. It has existed for more than a century. In the few years since I have become an Israeli and a part of Hadassah, I have come to appreciate its value. It is hard to believe that the government of Israel does not! Hadassah’s current situation is critical, and if it is not remedied fast, more and more excellent doctors, nurses and other staff members will be lost to other hospitals. Hadassah will no longer be the center of excellence it always has been, and the main losers will be the public it serves.

The doctors’ strike at Hadassah is not, at its core, about salaries — although it is true that we still have not been paid half of what we earned in January — it is about saving Hadassah from becoming some other second-rate hospital and ensuring the public continues to be provided with the best medical care available!

Three years ago I could not have imagined I would be writing this today — I am not a political person. But this issue affects me personally now, and it will affect thousands of people on  a personal level very, very soon. Three years ago I moved to this country to be part of its growth and to serve its people and, despite the craziness here, that is still my dream. That is why I spent yesterday fighting for Hadassah.

Ilana Parkes is a doctor at Hadassah Hospital.


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