Health Ministry 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Health Ministry welcomed Thursday’s decision by the High Court of Justice
instructing the state to update – within six months – the amount of money it
pays the four public health funds as subsidies for the basket of health
The ruling followed by almost a decade initial petitions by
Clalit Health Services and Maccabi Health Services about properly updating the
annual medical services index that determines how the insurers are
The decision, handed down by justices Salim Joubran and
Hanan Meltzer and Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, said there is a gap of
NIS 1.5 billion to NIS 2.3b. between what the state owed the health funds
and what they received as a result of the medical services index.
Health Ministry said on Sunday that it has believed for years that the index did
not reflect the growing costs in the health system. It will “study the ruling in
depth and convene discussions with the Treasury and the health funds on changing
the index,” Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said.
Lobby chairman Rachel Adatto said the court ruling “proved that the Finance and
Health ministries have ‘dried up’ health budgets in a systematic
The Kadima MK and physician said her criticism over the years and
that of patients’ groups have been vindicated, as the ongoing undervaluing of
the basket has brought the health system to its “critical condition.”
maintained that the Health Ministry was just as much to blame as the Treasury,
because it agreed over the years to the low state budgets for health. The
ministry “blindly” took it for granted that the health funds would absorb the
deficits thus created, she charged.
Meanwhile, MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz)
demanded an urgent meeting of the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee to
discuss the need to change the medical services index. “The technique of drying
up funds that the ‘supreme economic minister’ [Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu] has led has caused fatal harm to the right for health. I hope this
time the government will wake up and carry out the necessary updates so we do
not return to the kind of catastrophe that occurred in the Carmel [forest fire
in 2010], he said.