The Knesset plenum .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The Knesset focused on women’s health Tuesday with a series of committee meetings and events.
MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, who previously worked as a nurse, spearheaded the events.
“Women’s health is not just pregnancy and birth or related diseases,” Moalem-Refaeli said. “It is a broader topic and it requires resources from the medicine basket, and for more women to be involved in making decisions in the health system.”
Moalem-Refaeli argued that women should be equally represented on the committees that decide which medications to include in the government- subsidized basket, as well as in key health-related positions.
“The female body and psychology are different from that of men. Women can better understand the needs and solutions [for their own health issues] than men,” she stated.
The Bayit Yehudi MK also pointed out that life expectancy for women in Israel is ranked 20th in the OECD, whereas Israeli men are in 8th place.
“If there are more women making decisions, the situation will change,” she said.
Israel Medical Association chairman Leonid Eidelman said most medical research is done on men, and many doctors don’t know how some medical treatments can impact women differently.
Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said he recognizes the importance of the matter, which is why his ministry has a women’s health department.
Litzman also called to raise public awareness of the need for women to have mammograms for early detection of breast cancer.