New panel to update health basket for 2010

Dr. Osnat Luxenburg to coordinate the committee's work.

health scan 88 (photo credit: )
health scan 88
(photo credit: )
The members of a new public committee for recommending the expansion for 2010 of the basket of health services supplied by the health funds was announced by Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Tuesday night. The committee will be chaired by Rambam Medical Center director-general Prof. Rafi Beyar, a leading interventional cardiologist. The committee, which includes many new members who did not serve in the previous committee of volunteers (which was appointed by former health minister Ya'acov Ben-Yizri) will make their recommendations by the end of December. The committee, whose size has been reduced somewhat to increase efficiency, will have some NIS 430 million worth of drugs and other medical technologies to prioritize and recommend from among more than NIS 1 billion worth that have been presented by their manufacturers and importers for inclusion. Dr. Osnat Luxenburg, the head of the Health Ministry's medical technologies branch, will coordinate the committee's work. The members are Prof. Ehud Grossman, Prof. Danny Stessman, Dr. Ze'ev Aharonson, Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, Iris Ginzburg, Prof. Daniel Vardi, Dr. Bracha Zisser, Prof. Elliot Berry, Dr. Roni Gamzu, Prof. Haim Bitterman, Yoel Lipschitz, Prof. Moshe Mittelman, Nurit Dabush, Prof. Avi Porat, Ilan Sofer and Rabbi Moshe Haim Lau. The health system ombudswoman, Etti Semama, is the committee's adviser. Litzman said he decided to announce the names just before the intensive committee sessions begin to reduce pressure on the members by drug and technology companies that want their products added to the basket. He added that he was sure the committee would take into account all the medical, ethical and social considerations involved in choosing which additions will be made to the basket and provided to patients at minimal cost.