State tender issued to upgrade geriatric care

Tender establishes mechanism of economic incentives to ensure quality of service to elderly, ministries say.

March 30, 2012 04:13
1 minute read.
Elderly man in an retirement home [illustrative]

Elderly man in an retirement home 390. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

The Finance and Health ministries issued a public tender Thursday for the purchase of geriatric hospitalization services.

The two ministries said the tender establishes a mechanism of economic incentives to ensure the quality of service to the elderly.

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The tender was issued followed court deliberations on claims that the prices previously offered by the government were too low to provide adequately for the elderly. The tenders board consists of representatives from both ministries.

The Health Ministry finances geriatric nursing for those eligible for state-subsidized care who are occupying beds in geriatric hospitals and old age homes. The geriatric institutions supply services in accordance with the ministry’s required professional standards, it said.

The tender will be in effect for three years, with the option of a two-year extension. Annual expenditures for the services will total NIS 1.8 billion.

The ministries said that the standard for treatment resulting from the new tender will require the expansion of manpower in geriatric wards and incentive for the institutions to raise the quality of services, as well as upgrading physical conditions on the wards.

Ronni Ozeri, the chairman of the Association of Old Age Homes, commented that the suggested rates for geriatric care will allow most departments to give reasonable care. But at the same time, departments that need serious upgrading will not be able to finance this, and they will continue to give care in poor physical conditions.

“The rates set by the tender will not encourage new entrepreneurs to invest in geriatric nursing hospitalization and expand the number of beds and departments to answer the future needs of Israel,” he said.

There is a need for a development program for geriatric nursing in the near future, he concluded.

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