Doctors oversee patient.
(photo credit: DANI MACHLIS/BGU)
The Finance and Health ministries are once again allocating funds as grants to doctors who are willing to live and work in the periphery. The 2011 doctors’ strike ended with similar commitments, but the funds ran out, causing anger and frustration among physicians and residents in the more distant parts of the country.
A total of NIS 14 million will be granted this year to eligible general and psychiatric hospitals in the periphery.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman announced Tuesday that physicians who decide to move to the periphery to work will receive financial benefits. Medical residents who begin learning family medicine will also be eligible for benefits.
The specific grants were decided upon after the Health Ministry received requests from hospitals, health funds and other institutions in the periphery that needed doctors. Hospital directors will be allowed flexibility in allocating the benefits to doctors.
The program comes on top of the NIS 787.5 million that was allocated in 2011 to doctors and residents in the periphery and in specialties with inadequate manpower.
The Israel Medical Association said that while it welcomes the additional benefits, the amount allocated by the ministries for doctors in the periphery and in specializations with inadequate manpower was much too low and did not meet the needs of the population.