'Israelis can no longer shoulder health costs'

Clalit chief says Treasury bears responsibility for the current financial crisis in the health system.

April 10, 2013 04:16
1 minute read.
Isreli currency.

Money cash Shekels currency 521. (photo credit: Reuters)

Israelis spend NIS 7.2 billion every year in health taxes, but the Treasury allocates only NIS 470 million for medical care and thus bears responsibility for the current financial crisis in the health system, charged Eli Dapas, director-general of Israel’s largest health fund, Clalit Health Services, on Tuesday.

Dapas called on the Treasury to allocate “at least NIS 3b.” to address the shortfall in funds for health services, adding that the public cannot be expected to continue bearing the burden of these costs. The income of the four health funds has eroded by NIS 375m. over the past year due to rising prices and lack of compensation from the government, he said.

Clalit was the “only” one of the four public health funds in 2012 to mark an increase in its members, Dapas added. An increase in population has led to an additional deficit of NIS 380m.

Dapas said the wage contract reached between the Treasury and the Israel Medical Association 19 months ago did improve the situation somewhat, as more young doctors are willing to work in the periphery in exchange for grants. In addition, hospital residents are doing less late-night and weekend duty each month, which has also improved their situation.

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