dentist illustrative 311.
(photo credit: Bloomberg)
The Health Ministry’s program for giving children up to the age of eight
subsidized dental care will be implemented after all, starting on July 1, after
the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee gave formal approval to
it on Monday. The High Court of Justice ruled a few weeks ago that the reform
was illegal due to the ministry’s technical failure to get the committee’s
approval before it was okayed by the cabinet.
The justices ruled that as
dental care was a “new field,” the committee had to give its approval in
advance, even though the Health Ministry has said that despite much discussion
with the Justice Ministry, it was never told that this was a
Dental care – some of the procedures free and others costing
up to NIS 20 per treatment – for children has been a priority of Deputy
Minister Ya’acov Litzman, who wanted to cover all minors but did not
enough funds to make it possible. Earlier this year, he persuaded the
take NIS 65 million out of the increment to the 2010 basket of medical
technologies, a move that was opposed by the Israel Medical Association,
Dolev Foundation and others.
Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee
chairman MK Haim Katz said the parliament “wants to use its authority to
supervise government activities in a real and efficient way.
demands to see the dental care program that the government wants to
Katz said his committee approved the dental program from July 1 to
and would then decide whether to renew it, depending on how it will be
Litzman told the committee that he would “not rest until
dental care for all children through the age of 18 is provided at the
expense. I will not agree to the establishment of a fifth health fund”
purpose – a demand that was made by the Treasury.
director-general, Dr Ronni Gamzu, added that the dental program was “the
first time in 15 years that we are introducing a new field to the health
We are aligning ourselves with what is being done in the rest of the
main aim is to increase Israeli children’s access to dental care.”
Association director general Miri Ziv, who demanded that life-saving and
life-extending drugs that were supposed to be included in the basket
there and not be lost because of dental care for children, said the
over funding the drug basket and not having dental treatment come at its
The Israel Medical Association, which opposed deducting the NIS
65m. from the basket, welcomed the MKs decision to approve the change
November and then discuss a renewal depending on its success or failure.
depends on you in the committee whether this will be a real program or
‘spin’ in the media,” said IMA chairman Dr Leonid Eidelman. He insisted
that the new program not be launched at the expense of the drug
The IMA wants the program to be funded by additional Treasury
funds instead and supports MK Rachel Adatto’s demand that subsidized
for the elderly and other needy sectors be supplied as well.