Going against the trend pushed by the Finance Ministry, the public strongly opposes the gradual privatization of various medical services, according to a Geocartography poll conducted ahead of the Second Health Conference of the Ariel University Center, which will be held on Thursday. Health Minister Ya'acov Ben-Yizri will address the conference, which will take place in the Knesset auditorium. Of the representative sample, 56 percent opposed privatization of health services and the imposition of a heavier financial burden on the individual, while just 20% favored it. In addition, 58% of those surveyed opposed the establishment of a hospital-affiliated fifth public health fund, another Treasury idea aimed at "increasing competition" in the supply of health services. Only 14% favored establishing a private health fund. Over two-thirds said the level of health services received by the poor was lower than that received by the rich, and that life expectancies of wealthier Israelis were longer than those of the economically disadvantaged. Over the past decade, the share of state funding for health services has declined substantially, while the public's need to make copayments for services out of their own pockets has increased. In addition, the school health services have been transferred by the Health Ministry to an outside non-profit organization, and there have been attempts to privatize tipat halav (family health). Despite the Israeli trend, governments in OECD (developed) countries are investing more state funds in health services, rather than less. The conference was initiated by MK Aryeh Eldad, a maxillofacial surgeon by profession, and various staffers at the Ariel University Center.