Mental health service reform to begin January 1

October 4, 2006 16:46

The cabinet formally approved on Wednesday the Health Ministry's reform plan for transferring responsibility for mental health services from the ministry to the four public health funds. This reform, which was supposed to have been implemented almost 12 years ago with the inauguration of National Health Insurance in January 1995, was delayed due to Treasury opposition. The Finance Ministry has agreed to spend NIS 160 million on it during the next four years. It will be introduced gradually from January 1, making psychiatric care available in their community clinics and in psychiatric hospitals at the insurers' expense; this is expected to reduce the stigma of psychiatric care, as it will be offered like treatment for any physical disease.

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