Health Ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu promised the Knesset Finance
Committee on Monday that 1,300 medical students would graduate every year to
cope with the growing shortage of physicians.
He did not say in what year
exactly that number of students would graduate, but apparently they have already
begun their studies – with a minimum seven years needed to produce an
A major bottleneck in producing more doctors, he explained, is that
there aren’t enough beds and clinical physician-teachers to educate them. Gamzu
is trying to reduce the number of clinical teaching hours for residents, he
said, even though it poses the risk of a decline in quality of specialists. Care
must be taken to ensure that this doesn’t happen, the director-general
Bayit Yehudi MK and committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky said
that, “Israel’s health system is excellent, but it must improve even
He praised Health Minister Yael German for having “many positive
qualities and a good head, who will know how to do better for the nation and cut
the red tape” in the health system.
German replied that the country is in
difficult times economically, especially during the next two years. But “despite
this, significant increases have been made to the health system.”
coming years, royalties from natural gas finds will be used for the educational,
welfare and health systems.
German said the committee “must ensure that
geriatric and nursing institutions get some of it.”
She added that while
the OECD rates Israel’s health system as one of the “best five” in the world,
many doctors are working in private practice in addition to their hospital
She promised that the committee charged to look into proposed
private medical service (Shara) in the government and Clalit Health Services
hospitals will be “balanced and independent.”
German said that foreigners
receiving health care in public hospitals are “a problem,” because it comes at
the expense of Israelis waiting to be treated.
German noted that 400 to
500 Israelis commit suicide in a given year and 6,000 more attempt it. She
promised that the Health, Education and Welfare Ministry and Social Service
Ministry will present to the government a program to “make war on
Gamzu said that 2,500 nursing students are in the pipeline and
within two months, a new nursing school program will be approved at Ariel
Former Knesset speaker and now Likud MK Reuven Rivlin warned
that Magen David Adom – the ambulance, firstaid and blood supply organization –
is in a serious financial crisis. He urged that the volunteer emergency service
be helped and not taken for granted.
MDA officials asked for NIS 20.5
million for general maintenance of equipment, their debt a result of inadequate
“The state doesn’t help MDA maintain its emergency network
even though it is dependent on MDA in times of emergency and ordinary times,”
MDA officials said. “It pays only for certain services.”
additionally called for the integration of Arab physicians into the health
system who “don’t enter the system not because they are not professional, but
because they are Arabs.”
Meanwhile, the Israel Dental Association headed
Yitzhak Chen launched a campaign on Sunday that called on parents
of children under the age of 12 to demand the youngsters’ right to be treated by
private dentists, as well as from health fund dentists, under the law providing
free basic dental care to children.
The protest campaign, which is aimed
at German and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, will be run over social
networks and via Google.