The charge for being transported in a Magen David Adom ambulance without hospitalization is to go up within a few weeks by 5.7 percent, according to Health Ministry regulations passed by the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee on Monday.
A round trip by MDA ambulances of up to 20 km. will cost NIS 377 instead of NIS 357; 45 km. during the day is set to rise from NIS 554 to NIS 586 and at night from NIS 666 to NIS 703; 100 km. will rise from NIS 1,500 to NIS 1,586.
Private ambulances are not included in the regulations.
Yad Sarah has a fleet of Nechonit vans to transport ambulatory patients to hospitals and clinics with a much lower fee, but they do not handle urgent cases or road accident victims.
United Hatzalah-ZAKA provides completely free ambulance services, but it has only eight vans.
Members of the committee were critical that patients had to pay for this service themselves, but said they approved it because “the Treasury is running the health funds and MDA into a deficit.” MKs said that patients who live in the periphery are being punished by having to pay more than in the center of the country.
The MDA spokesman said the organization is not supported by the government and has high costs from round-the-clock and roundthe- country services that private ambulance services and other public ones do not.