'Give priority to health issues in election'
Social activists call running parties to address the financial burdens of the public health system.
Voting in Israel. Photo: REUTERS
Health should be the major social topic on the public agenda during the election
campaign, the Public Team for Health Quality and a committee of health experts
of the social protest movement said on Wednesday.
They called on every
party list running to give top priority to health issues. The activists
said that the public health system was a significant part of the social net, but
that it was “increasingly torn.”
The financial burden on residents who
have to make many co-payments to receive the services they need is becoming
heavier, while public hospitals are increasingly crowded and private medical
care is growing, they continued.
Since the summer of 2011, the lobbying
team – which represents a variety of socialand health-oriented organizations –
has been working on a detailed position paper for advancing social justice in
health. They include the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Physicians
for Human Rights-Israel.
The position paper calls for strengthening
health infrastructure, increasing the number of hospital beds, doctors and
nurses, especially in the periphery; separating public and private health
services; expanding the basket of health services, reducing co-payments for
medications among the economically disadvantaged; adding geriatric nursing and
psychiatric services to the health basket; boosting preventive medicine;
cancelling privatization of the School Health Service; establishing a national
program to reduce air pollution; and increasing public awareness of the
connection between gender and health and increasing research in the
Every candidate for the 19th Knesset will receive information
material on health issues and be urged to support the team’s positions. A public
information campaign will accompany these efforts to influence candidates.