(photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
Doctors are not the only ones in the health system with money woes – visitors
and patients have recently filed numerous complaints with MKs regarding what
they describe as exorbitant parking fees at hospitals.
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Public Petitions Committee held a special recess meeting on Tuesday to discuss
While some hospitals, such as the Sheba Medical Center at
Tel Hashomer charge nominal fees such as NIS 20 per day, others exact nearly NIS
60 per day.
“Parking is a necessary service for patients and those who
come to visit them. Parking at hospitals should not serve as a cash cow,”
committee chairman Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) said.
that committee had received many complaints from patients who have been
hospitalized for long periods, causing their families to pay high parking
expenses when visiting them. Maklev, who is a member of the same Knesset faction
as Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, said the Health Ministry must
determine “clear guidelines regarding exemptions and discounts for long-term
Hospital representatives said their institutions were forced
to shoulder the burden of building parking facilities, and should thus be
entitled to charge users to cover those costs. If the Treasury or the Health
Ministry agreed to subsidize the costs, the hospitals could avoid charging for
parking, they said.
MKs threatened to consider legislation to regulate
the parking fees in the event that the Health Ministry failed to take action.
Kadima MK Ze’ev Bielski is already preparing a bill to provide increased
oversight, and says a 2008 Health Ministry directive gave exemptions to
outpatients undergoing long-term treatment.