Court ruling paves way for health basket increment to be approved within days

Court ruling paves way f

The National Health Council will meet on Wednesday afternoon to okay recommendations for expanding the basket of medical technologies and medications by NIS 350 million in 2010 that were made by the public "basket committee" last week. This was made possible by the Tuesday ruling of a three-member panel of the High Court of Justice which rejected a suit filed by the Dolev Fund for Medical Justice, which argued that the 16-member basket committee was "not balanced and did not include representation of patients' groups." The fund also argued that it was the health council, and not the health and finance minister, that had the authority to appoint the committee. The panel, headed by deputy Supreme Court president Justice Eliezer Rivlin and also including Justice Miriam Naor and Justice Edna Arbel, sided with the health minister (nominally Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu) and not with the Dolev Fund. The suit was filed before Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman persuaded the government to vote for the deduction of NIS 65 million from the basket increment to spend on dental care for children. The health council is very often a rubber stamp for Health Ministry decisions. The drug basket increment of 80 new technologies and drugs is due to be formally approved by the government on Sunday.