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Ariel Sharon's family to pay part of his medical costs
By LAHAV HARKOV
15/08/2011
Knesset Finance C'tee decides that annual NIS 1.5m. medical bill to be split between former prime minister's family and state.
 
Former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s family will pay part of his medical expenses, which total NIS 1.5 million annually, the Knesset Finance Committee decided on Monday.

A panel appointed by the committee investigated the state’s payment of Sharon’s medical bills, and determined that the public should be responsible for NIS 750,000 every year, and the other half will be paid by his family.

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The change came after Sharon’s family asked to transfer the former prime minister, who has been comatose since January 2006, to his ranch in the South, which would increase his medical expenses.

The state and the Sharon family will pay for manpower, medical equipment and ongoing expenses necessary for him to have hospital conditions at home. In addition, medical staff from Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer will be brought to the ranch, and a part-time administrative worker will be hired to coordinate between the Sharon family, the hospital and the Prime Minister’s Office.

At the same time, the panel found that it is in the public’s interest to move Sharon out of Sheba Medical Center, because there are not enough free rooms for patients.

“An ethical and civilized state must continue paying for a prime minister who fell into a coma during his term,” Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) explained.

The panel recommended that the state continue paying its share of the medical fees as long as it is necessary. The payments will be made after Sharon exhausts other options such as National Insurance and medical funds.

The investigative panel is made up of Prime Minister’s Office director-general Eyal Gabai, Health Ministry director- general Ronni Gamzu and attorney Aryeh Stauber. The panel’s recommendations must be authorized by the Knesset Finance Committee, which determines former prime ministers’ pensions and benefits.
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