Gov't supervisor of health funds Lipschitz resigns

Lawyer says he has not decided what he will do next, but it could well involve the health system.

Meuhedet 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Meuhedet 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Health Ministry deputy director-general Dr. Yoel Lipschitz, who is responsible for supervising the health funds and supplementary health insurance, suddenly announced on Monday that he was resigning and was eager to proceed to a new phase of his career.
“Six years is enough,” Lipschitz – an attorney in his early 40s – said.
No replacement has been named, but he will remain for around three months until someone is appointed in his place.
One of his biggest achievements was forcing major reforms on the third-largest health fund, Kupat Holim Meuhedet, which was accused by the State Comptroller’s Office of massive corruption and mismanagement.
The whole top management has changed since then, and the health fund is being rehabilitated. Lipschitz has also been involved in significant pieces of legislation related to the health system.
Lipschitz increased the health funds’ transparency and responsibility to the public. He was also a member of the public committee for recommending the expansion of the basket of medical technologies.
The lawyer said he has not decided what he would do next, but it could well involve the health system.
Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman and director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu thanked Lipschitz for his “significant contribution to public medicine and strengthening regulation in the health system.”
On Sunday, Lipschitz – whose actions have often sent a shiver down the spines of the organizations he supervises – dispatched a strong letter of protest to the Finance Ministry’s supervisor of private insurance against companies that have been advertising special cancer policies.
He said the more-blatant marketing campaigns in the media have presented a “frightening message” that “cancer chooses one out of three Israelis” and that those who pay a premium will get extra-special care from a personal guide through the hospital system.
Lipschitz maintained that there was “no advantage” to such policies, as all lifesaving drugs and treatments against cancer were already in the public basket of medical technologies, and they are already provided in public hospitals.
One of the public health funds, in its supplementary health insurance plans, already appoints patients a personal coordinator and guide for cancer treatment, he said.