A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman on Sunday accused the country’s politicians of “causing a significant decline in the public health system over the last 20 years. I accuse you,” he declared at an IMA meeting on health and the election campaign.”
Eidelman added: “We have gather together to cry out for the health system and especially on behalf of those patients who don’t have the strength any more to cry out. There is a real bomb – the situation of the healthcare system – that threatens every citizen...No one is immune.”
The physician charged that politicians have been neglecting the health system, eroding budgets for the hospitals and the health funds. And because of this, residents of the periphery live shorter lives on average than those in the center of the country.
The reason for this neglect, said Eidelman, is that politicians are cut off from the general public. A recent survey has shown that only four percent of Israelis believe the health system is a “high priority” for politicians.
“I regularly hear politicians and Treasury officials say: ‘We have a wonderful health system. Life expectancy rates are high.’ But if you look closer,” said Eidelman, “things look different. There are long, unreasonable queues for health services, the number of doctors and nurses is constantly declining and hospital emergency rooms are collapsing.”
He concluded that, if the State Comptroller had just published a report on the health system, it would have created bigger waves of protest and anger than his report on housing.