There are not only too few donated kidneys but also an inadequate number of
nephrology specialists to treat patients with kidney disease, experts told the
Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee on Tuesday. The special
session was held to mark Israel Kidney Day, held to encourage live donors to
give one of their kidneys to save a life.
Acting committee chairman MK
Avraham Michaeli (Shas) called on the Health Ministry to recognize nephrology as
a distressed medical specialty with too few doctors and nurses.
addition, he said, the number of outpatient beds for kidney dialysis must be
increased, especially in the periphery of the country.
called on the Welfare and Social Services Ministry to increase funding for
patients undergoing serious medical treatment.
Health Ministry Prof.
Ronni Gamzu said his office is constantly watching to ensure that treatment for
kidney patients is accessible and at a high level.
“No dialysis institute
that does not meet such criteria will receive authorization to function, Gamzu
“We have 700 kidney disease patients waiting for a donor kidney,
and an organ can solve their problem. I call on citizens to show mutual
responsibility, to donate and to sign an ADI organ donor card.”
long queues for kidney specialists, said Avi Avraham, chairman of the
Association and Protection of the Rights of Kidney Patients.
complained that it was very difficult for patients to compare the quality of the
various dialysis institutes because there was no objective measure of
Kidney diseases are the fifth most common cause of death in
Israel. Last year, there were over 5,700 patients undergoing dialysis due to
During the last 20 years, a Knesset research paper said,
the number of dialysis patients has more than tripled. In 2010, nearly a million
dialysis treatments – in which kidney-failure patients are hooked up for hours
several times a week for the removal of waste from their bloodstream – were
This compares to only 230,000 treatments in the
The number of licensed nephrologists totals only 222, of which 174
are younger than 67. The number of young residents going into the specialty is
small and doesn’t reach the number of specialists who retire, the Knesset report
said. Adding 50 new kidney specialists to the list would solve the problem, it