IMA demands that NIS 65m. be put back in drug basket

Funds originally diverted by Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman for subsidized dental care for young children.

The Israel Medical Association on Tuesday called on the State Attorney’s Office to immediately return to the budget for expanding the 2010 basket of medical technologies the NIS 65 million that Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman diverted a few months ago for subsidized dental care for young children.
Last week, the High Court of Justice ruled that the diversion had been carried out improperly by the government, as the Health Ministry required approval by the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee for the move but had not received or even sought it.
The IMA does not oppose subsidized dental care, but it insists that this be financed by another source and not come at the expense of the basket, which is supplied by the health funds to relevant members.
Kadima MK Rachel Adatto, a physician and lawyer by training, joined theIMA in its demand. She said that the NIS 65m. had been meant forpurchasing life-saving, -extending and -improving prescriptionmedications for tens of thousands of patients who were desperate toreceive these drugs. At the last minute, Litzman pressured thegovernment to allocate the money for dental care, and the committeereduced the number of drugs it was adding to the basket.
Adatto called for an urgent session of the basket committee to choose candidate medical technologies to add.
The Health Ministry commented that the High Court objected to thediversion of funds for “technical reasons only” and that “the matter isbeing discussed in light of the High Court of Justice decision.”