Israeli hospital spokesman faces dismissal after Oct. 7 press conference

Science and Health

After a controversial press conference with the freed hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov) spokesperson Avi Shushan faces possible dismissal following over 13 years of dedicated service.

Shushan, who organized the press conference at the family’s request, has been summoned for a hearing as part of the termination process.

The press conference, held on October 25 upon Lifshitz’s release from Gaza, drew attention due to the family’s prior interviews with foreign TV networks. Despite the sensitivity of the situation, Shushan kept key authorities, including the health minister, the Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson, the IDF spokesperson, and the IDF official in charge of hostages, in the dark. None of them took measures to prevent the incident that followed.

The stellar career of hospital spokesperson Avi Shushan

Until October 25, Avi Shushan was a prominent figure in Israeli media, particularly in health reporting. His over 13 years at Sourasky were marked by his ability to translate complex medical events into media-friendly articles.

Credit: Oz Mualem

One memorable instance was a surgical visit arranged by Shushan, where this reporter observed a brain tumor being surgically removed from a still-conscious patient. Shushan’s skill in turning a talented doctor into a media star was evident, notably during the COVID-19 period. Prof. Idit Matot, thanks to Shushan’s efforts, became a memorable TV personality.

Shushan’s initiatives during the pandemic, such as allowing family members to be present during their loved ones’ final moments through glass, gained international attention. Sourasky pioneered this approach, which was later adopted by hospitals worldwide.


This incident raises the question of whether this press conference is justifiable grounds to dismiss a successful hospital spokesperson.