Only NIS 300 million allocated to expand 2016 health basket

Despite rising prices, expansion remains identical to previous years.

Pills (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
The basket of health services will expand in 2016 by only NIS 300 million, the same figure for the last half-dozen years, despite price rises in medical technologies.
The amount of money that the Treasury allocates to expand the basket is not automatically raised by 2 percent, as recommended by many public health experts, but decided unilaterally by the Finance Ministry.
Importers and manufacturers of medical technologies have proposed more than 700 innovations be included in the basket, but only a small percentage is expected to be approved.
The new chairman of the public committee that will recommend new technologies for the basket by the end of December is Prof. Rafael Beyar. Beyar has previously served in the voluntary post.
The previous and highly regarded chairman, Shaare Zedek Medical Center director-general Prof. Jonathan Halevy, has held position as a volunteer for the last three years.
Asked why Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon did not choose the director of another medical center or other medical expert for the position, Ya’akov Izak, Litzman’s personal adviser, said of Beyar and Halevy that “both were so excellent there was no reason to choose someone else.”
The committee for 2016 has some new members. Among those on the panel that starts meeting next week are: Dr. David Mossinsohn, deputy director- general for medicine in Meuhedet Health Services; Prof. Yair Birnbaum, chief medical director of Clalit Health Services; Prof.
Michael Glickson, chairman of the Israel Cardiology Union who works at Sheba Medical Center; Dr. Talia Golan, a senior Sheba gastroenterologist; Rabbi Haim Eideles, a rabbinal court judge; Prof. Ruth Landau, a bioethics expert and social worker; Prof. Shlom Vinker, a family medicine specialist at Leumit Health Services; lawyer Ya’acov Quint of the Israel Lands Authority; Ran Ridnick, the Finance Ministry’s budgets department health liaison; Prof. Idit Matot, a senior anesthesiologist and pain expert at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; Prof. Petachia Reisman, head of the surgery branch at Shaare Zedek; Revital Topper- Haver-Tov, the Health Ministry’s official that supervises the health funds and supplementary health insurance; accountant Yair Aseraf, a Health Ministry deputy director-general for planning, budgeting and pricing; Iris Ginsburg, an economist and former adviser to the Treasury; Prof. Avi Porath, director of Maccabi Health Services’ Institute for Health Services Research; and surgeon and former MK Afo Agbaria.
As for many years, the Health Ministry’s committee coordinator who works year round to sift through and assess proposed drugs and medical equipment is Dr. Osnat Luxenburg.