The Treasury will allocate NIS 570 million to “strengthen the public health
system,” Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Health Minister Yael German announced
on Thursday at a meeting in Safed’s Ziv Medical Center.
The two said that
the money will be spent reducing the deficits of the four public health funds
and improving medical infrastructures, especially in the periphery.
recent years the deficits in the health funds have been estimated at billions of
shekels, with a shortage of medical staffers, hospital beds and other
infrastructure as well as lack of funding for disease prevention and health
In addition, it has been a Treasury practice to let the health
funds and public hospitals fall severely into debt; demand efficiency measures
and other cuts and then bail them out – but only partially.
ministers said that of the NIS 570m., NIS 360m. will go to the health funds (NIS
90m. to each); and NIS 60m.
for dental care for children via the four
public health insurers.
In addition, NIS 150m. will be spent on
infrastructure – NIS 45m. to purchase MRI scanners for hospitals in the
periphery, not only those owned by the government but also those of Clalit
Health Services – and making them more accessible to residents of outlying
The hospitals that will get MRIs are Poriya Hospital near
Tiberias, Ziv Medical Center, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, Wolfson
Medical Center in Holon and another hospital, owned by Clalit.
funding will be allocated equally, NIS 9m. each.
Of the NIS 150m., NIS
1m. will go to complete the national project for bolstering Haifa’s Rambam
Medical Center against missile and rocket attacks.
NIS 15m. will go to
establish an accelerator for Ziv Medical Center, which will make it possible to
provide radiation treatment to cancer patients in the North – something that has
been unavailable beyond Haifa.
A total of NIS 20m. will be spent on
developing a national data project to promote digitalization of data so that
patient information can be transmitted securely among health funds and hospitals
to speed up and improve treatment and make retesting unnecessary.
additional NIS 10m. will be spent on maintenance of emergency medicine
facilities, according to a plan to be prepared in 2014, while NIS 20m. will go
for equipment in the general hospitals.
Lapid said that hospitals in the
periphery cannot provide adequate treatment to the many patients living in their
As such Ziv Medical Center, and other smaller hospitals, need to
get the medical equipment they need so as to rectify this situation, he said.
German added that Safed residents should not have to travel to Haifa or the
center of the country to get medical care.
“One of the key principles of
my ministry is reducing gaps in the population. We have been negotiating
with the Treasury in the past few weeks so that the health system can get what
it deserves, with emphasis on the periphery,” German said.
Ilan Shohat thanked the ministers and said “we had already given up on raising
money for an MRI. This is important news for residents of Safed and the