'Israelis can't carry financial burden of health system'

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April 9, 2013 19:06
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Every year, Israeli residents spend NIS 7.2 billion in health taxes, but the Treasury allocates only NIS 470 million for medical care and is thus responsible for the current financial crisis in the health system, charged Eli Dapas, director-general of the largest health fund, Clalit Health Services, on Tuesday.

Dapas called on the Treasury to allocate "at least NIS 3 billion" to cope with the shortfall in funds for health, adding that the public cannot continue to bear the burden of such costs. The income of the four health funds has been eroded by NIS 375 million in the past year due to rising prices and no compensation from the government, he said.

Clalit was the "only" one of the four public health funds to have a positive balance in membership in 2012, he said. The increase in the population has led to an additional deficit of NIS 380 million.

Dapas said that the wage contract reached between the Treasury and the Israel Medical Association 19 months ago did improve the situation somewhat, as more young doctors are willing to work in the periphery in return for grants. In addition, hospital residents are doing less late-night and weekend duty each month, thus improving their lot.

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