MK: Delays on defibrillator regulations risks lives

Law passed in July 21, and was meant to go into effect within 60 days.

Hospital 88,248 GENERIC good image (photo credit: )
Hospital 88,248 GENERIC good image
(photo credit: )
Although a law requiring the installation of automatic cardiac defibrillators in public places passed the Knesset on July 21, it has not yet been implemented because the necessary regulations have not yet been published. The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry blamed the Health Ministry for the delay, saying this week that its own officials had not received the Health Ministry's input on the regulations. The law was meant to go into effect 60 days after its passage. Health Ministry spokeswoman Einav Shimron-Greenboim said the ministry received the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry's request on October 26 and conceded that Health Ministry officials have not yet responded. "The topic is very important to the Health Ministry, which is working hard to prepare the necessary material," the spokeswoman added. The law, initiated by Israel Beitenu MK Stas Meseznikov, requires public places to install defibrillators, which deliver electric shocks to the heart of a victim of cardiac arrest and can be administered safely by a passing layman. The devices are required to be accessible in the US and many other Western countries and have saved many lives. It is the responsibility of Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry inspectors to ensure the installation and availability of these devices, which cost a few thousand dollars each. Meseznikov sent a letter to Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai a month ago stating that the relevant regulations should have been sent for approval to the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee some time ago. But as far as he knew, "there has been no discussion in your ministry that will lead to implementation," he wrote. Yishai's ministry countered that it was not to blame - the Health Ministry was at fault, it said. The MK, who asked Yishai for his immediate intervention, said that numerous lives have been lost because of the failure to install the defibrillators in a timely fashion.