Israel’s Hadassah hospital in preliminary talks to set up UAE branch

Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem looking to open a branch in Dubai; already held joint medical event with a hospital there.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center is negotiating the possibility of setting up a branch hospital that would operate in the United Arab Emirates, a hospital spokesperson confirmed Monday.

Prof. Zev Rotstein, director of Hadassah Medical Center, traveled to Dubai last week and has held “preliminary negotiations only,” Hadassah spokesperson Hadas Elboim told World Israel News. “It’s only the beginning of the process, and there is much more to be done.”

In September, immediately after the announcement of the historic Abraham Accords and the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, Hadassah released a statement that they had already been working to establish ties with medical facilities in the Gulf.

On October 1, Hadassah held an online medical conference with the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi. Dr. Uri Pollak, the director of pediatric cardiac critical care at Hadassah, co-chaired the first-ever Israel–UAE medical meeting on the future of pediatric cardiac critical care with Dr. Kesava Ramakrishnan in the UAE.

That online conference was also attended by American experts from John’s Hopkins University, Texas Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

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“This meeting is the first of what we hope will be countless new connections made possible by the Abraham Accords that will improve life for people around the world,” Hadassah said in an official statement.

“Hadassah Medical Organization is seizing this moment to establish new relationships of its own with medical professionals and institutions in both nations.”

Hadassah operates two major campuses in Jerusalem – at Ein Kerem in the city’s west end and at Har Tzofim on the east side. The hospital is also a major teaching facility associated with the Faculty of Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The new opportunity in the UAE may be tied to the business side of medicine. The hospital has been plagued by financial problems for the past decade that has seen repeated strikes by staff and wide-ranging budget cuts.

By 2014, Hadassah Hospital had run up a $360-million deficit, with allegations of overstaffing and high salaries complicated by bad investments by the parent organization, the American-based Hadassah movement, which lost an estimated $90 million in swindler Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.