Poll: Most Israelis oppose health care expansion by private donations

67 percent say they want it increased at the expense of the budget used by MKs and the Knesset.

Hospital generic 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski  [file])
Hospital generic 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
More than two-thirds of the public want the basket of health services supplied by the health insurers to be expanded with government funding; only one percent would want wealthy people "such as Arkadi Gaydamak" to give private donations that would expand the basket to include more medications and medical technologies. This was one of the findings in a survey to be presented during the Haifa Conference on Social Responsibility, which will open on Tuesday. The Ma'agar Mohot company surveyed the representative sample of 551 adults. Of those who supported an expansion of the basket, 67 percent said they wanted it increased at the expense of the budget used by MKs and the Knesset. An additional 16% said the funds should be taken from the funding for the state's 60th anniversary events, while 2% said the money should come from the defense budget and another 2% said the health tax paid on monthly wages should be increased. One percent of those polled said that more medications should be added to the basket by cutting the education budget. In total, 88% of those polled wanted health services expanded at state expense. Only 1% said wealthy donors should pick up the tab. Oddly, 95% of people with average incomes supported expanding the basket, while 90% of those with high incomes and only 87% of those with low incomes agreed. Some 84% of Israeli adults think the government should adopt a policy of reducing social gaps and increasing equality in society. Here too, more of the higher-income people were in favor of this (86%) than low-income people (83%). Of those who favor reducing the gaps, 26% said the government, employers and voluntary organizations must work together to increase equality; 21% said new elections were needed to do this; and 18% said they hadn't a clue how to narrow the gap between the wealthy and poor. Dr. Irit Keinan, adviser to the president of the University of Haifa and chairman of the conference, said the poll clearly showed that the public understanding of the need to spread the nation's wealth more equitably has deeply penetrated the Israeli population.