Prof. Shemer was selected to the list of 100 most influential people in Israel in 2018
Israel’s Hebrew newspaper “Ma’ariv” ranked Prof. Shuki Shemer, chairman of Assuta Medical Centers, number 28 in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in Israel in 2018. Assuta Ashdod Hospital’s successful functioning over its inaugural year marks a personal peak in Professor Shemer’s life and his goal of guiding Assuta into becoming the leading hospital and medical network in Israel.
Despite the health system’s sorry state, and the startling projection of insufficient beds and services resulting from increased life spans and numbers of patients, it’s encouraging to see that someone is willing to shoulder responsibility and take action. The establishment of Assuta Hospital in Ashdod is a ray of light in the darkness.
“Only when the project reached completion did we realize just how vast and complex it actually was – how much mental stamina, human resources, and financing it required. But if you were to ask, in hindsight, whether I’d step into a project like this now, with all the difficulties it brought to the surface, my answer would still be an unequivocal yes.” That’s how Professor Shuki Shemer sums up the turbulent year since the opening of the hospital in Ashdod, the first public hospital to be built in 40 years.
As can be expected of any complex assemblage, his work involved recruiting some 250 physicians, 500 nurses, and hundreds of assistive staffers from within the existing medical system. Getting all staff operating smoothly was another challenge, successfully achieved.
Assuta Ashdod comprises medical units offering a wide range of services and medical capabilities generally not typical of a 300-bed hospital. It offers extraordinary treatment options in oncology, is currently completing the establishment of its radiotherapy center, has an imaging center for locating metastases in cancer patients, advanced MRI equipment, and an oncology ward for patients with severe complications. Assuta Ashdod’s Department of Cardiology is equipped with top of the line devices including a new catheterization unit, the heart electrophysiology unit and more. Hospital departments provide clinical teaching services to students from the Ben Gurion University School of Medicine. The University also allocates academic appointments to staffers on the hospital’s behalf.
Professor Shemer (70), a former and current senior health system administrator, has filled central roles in Israel’s health system: as the IDF’s Chief Medical Officer, CEO of the Ministry of Health and CEO of Maccabi Healthcare Services. Over the past decade, he has headed the Assuta private health care system, a leading network in Israel owned by Maccabi Healthcare Services. Clearly only someone with a record such as Professor Shemer’s, with his vast experience in all the major sectors of health care, could guide the vision of a new public hospital into reality without being deterred by criticisms or overwhelmed by Ministry of Health rules and regulations.
Bottom line, the hospital’s successful activities over the course of a year mark a personal peak in Professor Shemer’s life and his goal of guiding Assuta into becoming the leading hospital and medical network in Israel.
Author: Mayaan Harooni