Health fund members cannot be forced to show their magnetic cards when seeking basic medical services, medications or first aid, according to Health Ministry deputy director-general Dr. Yoel Lipschitz, who is supervisor of the public health insurers.

Instead, the health fund staffers can request another type of identity card, he said in a statement on Monday.

“For basic medical services, the health fund must not condition presentation of the magnetic card for making a medical appointment.

Appointments cannot be canceled or delayed as a result of not having the card or lead to patients having to wait for long period for an appointment, said Lipschitz.

The deputy director-general told The Jerusalem Post that there had recently been cases, especially at Maccabi Health Services, in which staffers insisted they could not give service or that appointments were delayed because members had not brought along their cards.

“Even at a bank, if you forgot your debit card, you can still show another identification card and take out money,” said Lipschitz.

He added that there have not been complaints about funds mistakenly debited by health through magnetic cards; he added that rebates at the end of a quarter after making excessive copayments for services or medications are even better as a result of the magnetic cards.

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