(photo credit: JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH)
The Health Ministry “welcomed” the recommendations of the Trajtenberg Report
relating to geriatric nursing care, but added that they were only “very partial”
and did not cover the scope of the plan for reforming such care for the elderly
that it had presented over a month ago.
The Trajtenberg recommendations
“do not give reasonable and adequate answers to the distress of those [disabled
and elderly] who need nursing care,” the ministry said.
They do not deal
with the problems of the severe structural problems in which many different
authorities are responsible for different aspects of care and result in terrible
red tape, the statement continued.
If Trajtenberg’s proposals are
adopted, they would fail to unify the responsibility of five different
government ministries into one. They would also make a means tests for relatives
of the patient much more strict, while the ministry’s plans would greatly ease
the need to undergo means tests and also significantly increase the amount of
public money for providing improved nursing care.
Deputy Health Minister
Ya’acov Litzman expressed his disappointment with the Trajtenberg proposals,
saying that even though the committee read the ministry’s plans, it did not
implement them except in only a superficial manner.
“Instead of reducing
the burden on the citizen, they are going to make it even more difficult for
some of those who need geriatric nursing care, which is not in keeping with the
principle of social justice,” he said.
Litzman said he had even met
personally with Trajtenberg to discuss the ministry plan.
“It is clear
that Trajtenberg’s recommendations on one page cannot replace a full reform plan
that was written after months of in-depth and basic work,” said the deputy
“In addition, the committee’s proposal is to increase the
geriatric nursing budget by NIS 600 million a year, while the ministry’s
proposals were to spend more than double that and ensure the budgetary
advancement of services over the years.”
The ministry’s plan was to raise
health taxes by 0.5 percent or alternatively for the Treasury to increase
allocations to reform geriatric nursing services through legislation. It would
halt the demands of adult children – and even the spouses of those children – of
the elderly to contribute from their income to admit and keep them in geriatric
Only the income of the elderly and supplementary or private
insurance policies would be considered for calculating their participation. The
ministry’s idea was to transfer responsibility for geriatric care from the
National Insurance Institute (NII) and other government authorities to the