Health services to the Negev’s Beduin population must be improved, and they will be, according to Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, who is responsible for Beduin affairs.
During a tour in Tel Sheva on Tuesday, Yair Ma’ayan of the Beduin Development and Settlement Authority, presented officials with information about gaps in services that are specific to the Beduin, along with data about their high rates of illness.
The ministers promised improvements in the functioning of tipat halav, or well-baby centers, and dental treatment for children. They also said they are looking into the possibility of building additional Magen David Adom stations in Beduin settlements.
“There is a need to bring about a change in medical services in the Negev in general and to the Beduin sector specifically. We will work to advance the quality of medicine to residents... of whatever race or religion, with stress on the settlements in the periphery,” said Litzman.
Ariel added that Beduin communities are “at the lowest rung of the socioeconomic ladder, and we are working to change this immediately.”
Ma’ayan said that his authority has a five-year plan to spend NIS 3 billion to reduce the gaps in services between the Jewish and Beduin settlements in the country.