Health Ministry refutes claim gov't hospitals can’t pay for lifesaving drugs

Health Ministry director-general Prof Arnon Afek said it was true that the hospitals lack funding, but added that purchasing of vital drugs was not affected.

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September 30, 2014 16:46
Hospital

Shaare Zedek Hospital. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Health Ministry denied on Tuesday the claim by directors-general of government hospitals that they have run out of money to purchase lifesaving drugs. “We are not aware of a shortage,” said the ministry spokeswoman. “At this time, we are having intensive talks with the Finance Ministry and hospital directors” on budgets, the spokeswoman added.

Prof. Shimon Reisner, deputy director of Haifa’s Rambam Medical Cen6ter and chairman of the Association of Government Hospital directors, had made the claim. He said Rambam purchasing funds have run out and that he can not sign for new orders of drugs. Reisner said government hospitals have proven to be more efficient than other public hospitals; nursing costs and manpower have already been reduced, and no other cuts can be made without harming patients, he added.

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The state hospitals and the four health funds have long had major ongoing deficits as the Treasury, according to its critics, prefers to leave them in debt and bail them out from time to time.

Health Ministry director-general Prof Arnon Afek said it was true that the hospitals lack funding, but added that purchasing of vital drugs was not affected.


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