Ashdod Hospital .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
After months of discussions and negotiations between the Finance and Health ministries, an agreement has been reached adding a number of benefits to the public health system, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
Among them are NIS 500 million for increasing medical technologies in the basket of services for 2019. While that is the same amount for 2018, it is larger than in previous years. The agreement also adds beds to all hospitals in the country, however, the Health Ministry did not say by how many.
As announced a few weeks ago, under the 2019 budget just approved, geriatric nursing reform will be implemented to expand nursing hours and improve arrangements for the elderly. In addition, NIS 1 billion will be spent for construction and development of psychiatric hospitals.
Basic dental care in health fund-affiliated dental clinics for those over 75 already began this year and will gradually increase in the next few years, the ministry said. In addition, basic dental care for children up to age 16 will expand to include those up to the age of 18.
Hundreds of millions of shekels will be allocated in the next few years to renovate emergency rooms in hospitals, said Deputy Health Ministry Ya’acov Litzman, along with a major increase in the number of PET and CT scanners.
Resources will also be allocated to improve services for babies and toddlers, along with money to promote telemedicine and other digital health services.
“The new budget includes a series of achievements and additions that will enable our continued investment in strengthening public health, coping with crowding in the emergency rooms, investing in the periphery and preventing illness,” said Litzman, who thanked Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon for his cooperation.
Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov added: “The additional funds will enable the system to grow and improve in places where it was inadequate and to strengthen existing services.”