Deputy Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman and senior professional levels in the ministry came out on Tuesday in strong opposition to the government bill for fining patients who do not arrive on time or at all for their doctors’ appointments, which was passed on its first reading on Monday.
Litzman said he and his office would "stop the bill by every possible way" and that it was superfluous. The bill, which passed on a 23 to 16 vote, would result result in a NIS 10 fine for those who didn’t turn up for their appointment but not provide any money for those who waited in vain for a doctor to appear for the appointment. Litzman said such a law would harm the public and especially weak socioeconomic groups.
Some have suggested that patients frequently do not show up for doctor’s appointments, wreaking havoc on schedules and wasting doctors’ time, but that a fine was not in order. Rather, if the same patient failed to show up three times, he should be denied an appointment with the doctor.