Haredi men who perform national service in lieu of the military will be a boon
to the public health system, Health Minister Yael German told hundreds of
leading medical experts from Israel and abroad at the Fifth International
Conference on Health Policy on Monday.
The three-day conference of the
National Institute for Health Policy Research, held at the Jerusalem
International Convention Center, focuses on heath policy in times of
German said that a delicate balance must be created in the
system between public and private medicine, and that the public’s confidence in
the system must be preserved. A strong public health system, she continued,
closes social and cultural gaps.
The inclusion of ultra-Orthodox men in
the health system through national service (due to be launched in three years),
alongside doctors, nurses, paramedics and others will improve healthcare, she
Home care for the ill and elderly is vital, German said, who noted
that her parents lived with her in her Herzliya home during the last decade of
their lives and benefited from visiting doctors and nurses. German added that
their care was significantly cheaper and more humane than if they had been
More than 100 studies are being presented at the
conference, both in person and as e-posters that can be ordered up and viewed on
Health Ministry chief scientist Prof. Avi Yisraeli
and Harvard University provost Prof. Alan Garber are chairing the event opened
by Prof. Shlomo Mor- Yosef, board chairman of the national institute and
director-general of the National Insurance Institute.
castigated governments around the world for using budget deficits as an excuse
for austerity measures that include cuts to vital services.
that downsizing vital health programs can lead to more disease, suicides and
other harmful effects that take decades to overcome.
Prof. Gary Freed, a
leading pediatrician at the University of Michigan’s Schools of Medicine and of
Public Health, said that because the number of American children needing care
has remained nearly static for the past six decades – while the number of adults
and elderly people has skyrocketed – there has been a major decline in the
investment of funds for children, even reducing vaccination programs.
study by Ben-Gurion University health economist Prof. Gabi Bin-Nun and
colleagues examined the effect of age in listings of GDP and health expenditure
per capita. Israel’s health expenditures per capita were very low relative to
other OECD countries, he said, with total health spending as a percent of GDP,
rating Israel as 26th out of the 34 countries on the list and 28th for health
expenditure per capita. The US is first on the list, with the highest spending
As the Israeli population is younger than in most of the
OECD, it has been claimed that the data does not reflect other countries’ age
distribution. By using the standard age-adjusted index, Bin-Nun found that
Israel’s relative position in public expenditure on health almost didn’t change
as result of age adjustment and remained, at 27th, among the lowest in OECD
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