(photo credit: MCT)
A NIS 51 million program to encourage the four public health funds to perform health screenings on people aged 70 and over was passed by the cabinet on Monday at the initiative of the Pensioners Affairs Ministry.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is formally both health and pensioners’ minister, said it “expressed the improved quality of treatment” of the elderly.
Many older citizens suffer from a decline in their health, he said. “Carrying out periodic comprehensive medical checkups for all elderly will help promote society’s health,” he said.
The decision was announced to mark International Senior Citizens Day, which is held annually on October 1.
Netanyahu thanked Deputy Minister Leah Ness for the initiative and
her efforts all year round to promote the status of the elderly.
said that general geriatric assessments can prevent the physical and
mental decline of elderly at risk; this group does not often receive
such professional assessment. Screening and early diagnosis and
treatment, she said, can eliminate the need for unnecessary
hospitalizations and improve quality of life.
Given the chronic
shortage of geriatricians, it was not clear whether there are currently
enough professionals to properly screen all the hundreds of thousands of
people in this age group. Primary care physicians already are allowed
to screen their elderly patients for disease.