high court panel citizenship law 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The High Court of Justice decided unanimously on Thursday, in an unprecedented judgement, to cancel the government’s decision, initiated by Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, to cut 65 million shekels from the expansion of the 2010 medical technologies’ budget in order to finance subsidized dental care for children up to the age of eight.
The three-member court panel of Justices Miriam Naor, Hanan Meltzer and
Yitzhak Amit ruled that the government had not observed the National
Health Insurance Law which required it to consult the Knesset. The court
stated it was a rare case in which the Knesset voiced an opinion
contrary to that of the government.
The case was initiated by the Dolev Fund for Medical Justice, the
Israel Medical Association (IMA) and the Movement for Quality
Government, which objected to the fact that the basket of health
technologies was cut at the last moment to supply other needs.
Dolev Fund’s lawyer, Gilad Rogel, described the decision as a "victory
for the patients for whom the money that must be returned to the basket
is a life-and-death matter. Every day they wait for medications that
they were prevented from getting in violation of the law. The High Court
of Justice today fulfilled its very important social and public
function, to protect the public from its elected officials and its
government. Somebody should have stopped and reined in government power,
and the court was the last barrier that prevented the law from being
He added that the fund did not deny that
dental care for children and the elderly is important. "Our argument is
with the method. We are not willing for this to happen at the expense of
money given in compensation for increased costs of lifesaving drugs
that were taken out of the supplementary health insurance policies".
presented the shifting of funds from the drug basket to dental care for
children as a major accomplishment for him, which was highly popular
among haredim with large young families. But his achievement evaporated
even before the court decision, as the Prime Minister, and former health
minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, with Treasury support, took steps to
require the establishment of a fifth health fund to provide dental
The Health Ministry spokeswoman said the Ministry of
Health, is nevertheless looking for ways to bring about dental subsidies
for children at the planned commencement date of July 1st.
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