A special fund has been established by Magen David Adom’s friends organizations in Britain and France to cover the expenses of ambulance evacuation for Holocaust survivors who cannot afford to pay the fee.

The first-aid, blood-supply and ambulance service said on Sunday that the announcement was made to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day. The fund was initiated to assist some 60,000 of the low-income and distressed Holocaust survivors among the total of some 198,000 living in Israel.

Every year, MDA receives requests from Holocaust survivors who are not entitled to receive compensation for ambulance services from public agencies (such as the National Insurance Institute, health funds and private insurance companies) to get free service. As MDA must by law charge for its services, officials felt frustrated and looked for a “creative solution.” It suggested to the “friends’ organizations” to cover the costs of the needy survivors.

Dr. Lazar Kaplan, president of the MDA Friends Organization in France, said he regarded the task of helping distressed survivors as very important and welcomed the fact that supporters will now make it possible to get professional services without suffering a financial burden.

MDA director-general Eli Bin said that “the dry law doesn’t allow us to provide an adequate solution to the needs of all individuals, especially Holocaust survivors... As they were full partners in the establishment and development of the state since its founding, we were determined to establish a fund to meet their needs. There is no doubt that the service is necessary, and MDA will do all it can to help tens of thousands of survivors who live in Israel today.”

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