The threatened cuts in the Health Ministry budget will seriously delay the fortification project of Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center, which has numerous times been threatened by rockets and missiles from Gaza, the city’s mayor, Benny Vaknin, said on Sunday.
In a letter to Prime Minister (and formally Health Minister) Binyamin Netanyahu, Vaknin demanded that budget reductions not be allowed to endanger the fortification project, in which an underground emergency department and other facilities are being constructed.
The ministry has so far declined to come out publicly against the government’s announced budget cuts, causing some critics to suggest that Deputy Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman does not want to upset Netanyahu.
Kadima MK Rachel Adatto, a physician and head of the Knesset Health Lobby who is now in the opposition, called on Litzman -- "who recently knew how to pressure the prime minister to prevent the drafting of haredi yeshiva students -- to with the same determination put all of his political clout behind" preventing the budget cuts in the health system. Eight million citizens expect the person at the head of the health system to act in a real way on behalf of the public interest and not only for sectoral ones."