Health Ministry critical of Trajtenberg 'inadequate' offers

C'tee recommendations “do not give reasonable and adequate answers to the distress of those [disabled and elderly] who need nursing care.”

Litzman 311 (photo credit: JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH)
Litzman 311
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 minister.
“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 hospitals.
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 health funds.