The Knesset’s decision to reject a bill to exempt lifesaving drugs not included in the health basket from value added tax means that tens of thousands of patients will die, the bill’s author, United Torah Judaism MK Uri Maklev, charged on Wednesday.
“Not only do you fail to help people to save their lives, but you demand that such people pay a tax to the state,” he added in anger.
The health basket of medical technologies, updated by only NIS 300 million a year out of NIS 2 billion-worth of potential drugs and equipment, is covered by the four health funds for appropriate patients, with the increase financed by the treasury.
“There are quite a lot of patients who think twice before buying drugs that are already in the basket,” Maklev said. “Eliminating VAT on drugs not included in the basket that patients have to purchase themselves would make them 18 percent cheaper. Some of them cost tens of thousands of shekels a year.”
Those who don’t understand the need to be flexible and make exceptions lack the sensitivity needed to be a public representative, the MK added. “It is cruel. Even in [cruel] Sodom such a bill would have been approved.”