Dr. med Ram Ishay z“l, 1931-2016

Israeli physician, served as the head of the Israel Medical Association

Dr. Ram Ishay was born on April 17th 1931 in Soussa, Tunisia,  to Miriam and Yosef Ishay and had five sisters and two brothers.

Until world war II family Ishay enjoyed a comfort and peaceful life. During the rule of the Vichy regime in France the jews in Tunisia began to suffer under different persecutions. The Nazi occupation had worsen the situation.  The possession of the family was confiscated, Ishay was expelled from school, all jews were forced to wear a yellow star and his father and brother were compelled to force labor. Luckily enough, Tunisia was freed by the allied forces in 1943, six months after being under the german occupation.

After finishing his medical studies in Montpellier, France, moved Ishay in 1955 to Israel (“Aliyah”) with the “Kedma” boat.  He joined there his Family, which already moved to Israel a few years before, and together they co-founders and settled  Moshav Gilat. Ishay was a farmer and a tractor driver and a proud field worker of the land of Israel. In 1960 he married Rachel Manor (Kraus).

Together the lived a few years in Kiryt Gat, before moving to Eshel haNasi, as Rachel became its principle.

Ishay served at the IDF and took part at the “Mivza Kadesh” (Suez Crisis), the six days war, “Milhemet haHatasha” ( the war of attrition) and the Yom Kipur war. Further more he served as a ranked major as part of the commending staff of the IDF’s medical corps.

Ishay belonged to the founder of the Negev’s medical service and worked as a physician for about thirty years in all Moshvim and Kibutzim of southern Israel. Back in the 50’s not all roads where built, so he would sometimes be traveling with an helicopter to take care of patients.

In the years 1971-1990 Ishay served as the head of the Israel Medical Association (IMA).  Expertise in family medicine and in medical administration (Harvard) he strived hard to improve the working conditions and their professional status of all Israeli physicians. During his term he brought to a change of the assembling of IMA’s central committee and gave a fair presentation to the relative presentation of all physicians associations. 

In 1983 led Ishay the physicians strike and fought immensely for adequate working conditions, recognition and promotion of the physicians status and rights. On that strike Ishay release in 1986 the book “ A Doctors Strike: March 2nd 1983 – June 27th 1983” (Schocken publishing house) 

He researched extensively in the discipline of medical ethics and set up ethic committees in hospitals and in polyclinics. In 1988 Ishay founded the Israel Society for Medical Ethics and served as its chairman. Ishay wrote and published a prolific amount of  articles in that realm and released his book “ Doctor Patient Partnership” (Schocken publishing house) on the subject. 

In 1989, during his term as the head of IMA he was elected as the head of the World Medical Association. During his three years term he released a vast amount of international declarations on medical ethics. In 2009, as part of the IMA’s 41th conference, Ishay received its notable honor

(“Ot Yekir HR”I”). The electing committee specially noted Ishay abilities, through his kind manners, to find the right formula to gather and unit the physicians community. 

In 2016 Dr. Ishay passed away, after a long fight with Alzeimer. He left behind his wife Rachel, his children Raviv and Roglit and his grand children Yotam, Yuval, Yoel, Yahav and Alon.