Elderly couple (illustrative).
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon will jointly prepare a plan to improve the treatment of elderly in geriatric nursing hospitals and make it more efficient.
The two ministers announced the plan on Monday, following the release of reports of severe violence and abuse of elderly patients in a geriatric hospital in Haifa and the arrest of half a dozen workers.
They instructed Moshe Bar Siman Tov, Health Ministry director-general, and Amir Levi, head of the Treasury’s budgets division, to study the problem and prepare a plan to cope with the demographic and structural changes in the field. The plan must remove red tape, improve rehabilitation and treatment in the community, find funding from the government and private sources and improve supervision of service suppliers, they said.
In an address to the Knesset, heads of the Israel Gerontology Association said that without cooperation by all the ministries, it will be “impossible to cope with the upcoming social tsunami” regarding the elderly.
Kulanu MK Tali Ploskov, chairman of the Knesset Subcommittee on the Status of the Elderly, presented a document prepared by the association that contains the aims of geriatric reform. Among the suggestions is the establishment of a state body to coordinate all activities involving the elderly. In addition, it favors raising the retirement age and coping with housing problems and the acute shortage of manpower and beds in geriatric facilities.
Ploskov said that the elderly must be a much higher priority on the national agenda.