Moshe Ya'alon soldier hospital 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Defense Ministry )
The Health Ministry insists that the Defense Ministry pay for services for some
30,000 soldiers who are permitted to go to health fund clinics instead of
military doctors or Bikur Rofeh clinics in the community.
Ministry said that each year, NIS 20 million in health taxes is spent by the
four public health funds to treat soldiers, rather than civilians. If the
Defense Ministry wants such services, it must reach a new agreement and pay for
the services provided to soldiers.
Three years ago, the Defense Ministry
decided that conscripts and career soldiers serving at the Kirya military
headquarters in Tel Aviv or the IDF facility at Tel Hashomer in Ramat Gan could
go to a health fund of their choice for medical services.
But in recent
months, various IDF health officials have said that civilian doctors tended to
be quicker than military doctors in giving soldiers permission to take sick days
or perform reduced duties owing to a health condition.
Ministry announced that the agreement will come to an end on December
But now the Health Ministry insists that the problem is not civilian
doctors being too “soft,” rather the fact that the Defense Ministry is not
paying enough for the service, which is illegally coming at the expense of
civilians who pay monthly health taxes to the National Insurance Institute for
distribution among the health funds.
Two months ago the Defense Ministry
issued a statement saying “a notice was sent to the health funds of the
intention of the Defense Ministry to extend the agreement by another year. In
response, the health funds said that because of a directive from the Health
Ministry, clinic care could no longer be provided for soldiers unless more money
was transferred between the two sides. The Defense Ministry insists that the
agreement be implemented fully, including a one-year extension without
additional funding for the project, and it is waiting for a change from the
Health Ministry on this matter.”
The Health Ministry spokeswoman said it
was not the heath funds that were unilaterally bringing an end to the agreement.
Rather, it was the failure of the Defense Ministry to reach an agreement by
which it would cover the real costs of treating soldiers.
“Today, it is
not economically justified,” the spokeswomen said.