(photo credit: Sourasky Medical Center)
The Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee called on Tuesday for a
national program to narrow gaps in healthcare among various socioeconomic and
ethnic groups, adopting a call by voluntary organizations urging equity between
Jews and Arabs, rich and poor, recent immigrants and veteran
The committee called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who
is formally the health minister, to regard the gaps in health services as a
national problem and to present a comprehensive program for reducing
The health status of most low-income people, Arabs, Ethiopian
immigrants and other disadvantaged groups is much lower than that of
established populations, even though the National Health Insurance Law
to be equitable.
Health Ministry Director- General Dr. Ronni Gamzu said
that the erosion of public health services as private medicine becomes
is partly responsible for the widening gaps.
MK Haim Oron of Meretz said
that inequity in healthcare is the system’s “most serious problem” and
gaps are growing all the time.
Adva Center director Barbara Swirsky, who
was among the initiators of the discussion, said that the two largest
funds, Clalit Health Services and Maccabi Health Services, are working
minimize the social gaps, but that the Health, Welfare, Education and
Environmental ministries must join in, along with the local authorities.