More MDs to get licenses to prescribe medical marijuana

Five hospitals to participate in pilot program, which will help relieve cancer patients' pain; soon some pharmacies will be allowed to fill the prescriptions.

medical marijuana 311.187 (photo credit: Associated Press)
medical marijuana 311.187
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Physicians at five large hospitals have received permission from Health Ministry director-general Dr. Ronni Gamzu to write prescriptions for medical marijuana for cancer patients who received authorization to smoke it and relieve their pain.
The ministry announced the pilot program on Sunday.
The physicians are at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Ziv in Safed, Assaf Harofe in Tzrifin, Sheba at Tel Hashomer and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.
All the government hospitals are owned by or affiliated to the state through the Health Ministry.
The pilot project will be supervised and assessed, and doctors at other hospitals have been contacted so that the medical marijuana can be available to other patients around the country. In addition, arrangements will be made for authorized patients with certain painful neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis to get easier access to prescriptions.
Until now, all prescriptions were provided by a senior doctor at the Abarbanel Mental Health Center in Bat Yam, with the medical cannabis distributed by authorized growers.
Soon, pharmacies in some government hospitals will be allowed to fill the prescriptions, according to ministry associate director-general Dr. Boaz Lev. About 4,000 patients have approval to receive medical marijuana, Lev said.