Yesh Atid social welfare platform calls for major reform of National Insurance Institute

The party is calling for separation of the administrative bureaucracy and medical committees in an effort to reduce the long wait times at the NII.

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February 18, 2015 17:41
2 minute read.
Yair Lapid

Yair Lapid and former Welfare Minister Meir Cohen present Yesh Atid's social welfare platform outside of the National Insurance Institute in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Yair Lapid aims to target the National Insurance Institute as part of Yesh Atid’s social welfare reforms, he announced on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference outside the Tel Aviv offices of the NII along with former welfare and social services minister Meir Cohen, the duo presented their party’s social welfare platform ahead of the March election.

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“The press has in recent days dealt with the Prime Minister’s Residence – the expenses, the carpets and the electrician. I’m not going to discuss this, because it is shameful and embarrassing and pathetic, and it’s only half the story,” Lapid said at the press conference.

“The other half is more important. The other half is where the money is not going to,” he said.

The party is calling for a “revolutionary change” in the National Insurance Institute.

Among the proposed reforms is a complete separation between the administrative bureaucracy and the medical committees, creating independent and professional medical committees that would run all day, in an effort to reduce the long wait time.

Furthermore, in an effort to minimize bureaucracy and increase efficiency, the party calls to computerize the committees and reduce the secretarial staff by a third.



The reform further calls for the establishment of centers for the utilization of rights as well as the establishment of an external auditor for the NII.

“After many years, we have begun to address the open wounds of Israeli society,” Cohen said at the press conference.

“I will work to implement the national insurance reform which will ensure that citizens of Israel will receive what they deserve – fair treatment, immediate availability, and a sense of personal social security from the state,” he said.

In addition to the NII reforms, Yesh Atid’s proposed plan would also expand on numerous reforms introduced during Cohen’s term as welfare minister, including the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee to Fight Poverty, a cornerstone of the party’s platform from the previous elections.

The Committee to Fight Poverty, headed by Eli Alalouf, was appointed by Cohen to make recommendations on the actions required by the state to combat poverty in all aspects of life and released its final recommendations, totaling some NIS 7 billion, in June 2014.

Prior to the dissolution of the coalition, some NIS 1.7b. were set to be allocated toward the initial implementation of the recommendations, though with the fall of the government many of the reforms were put on hold.

Cohen called to immediately implement the major recommendations, including grants for some 18,000 single-parent families and pension income supplements for some 190,000 elderly living under the poverty line.

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