New ‘health basket committee' to add NIS 550 million of tech and services

The new committee chairwoman, Prof. Dina Ben-Yehuda, is the first woman in the role since the mid-1990s.

the basket of health services (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
the basket of health services
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)

The public committee that will recommend to the Health Council and the government the addition of medicines, medical technologies and services to the basket of health services for 2023 was announced by Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman. The additions to the basket will total NIS 550 million, the same as the amount added to the 2022 basket. 

The new committee chairman is Prof. Dina Ben-Yehuda, director of the hematology division at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem area and dean of the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine. The chairman last year was Prof. Yehoshua Shemer, Chairman of the “Assuta” network of medical centers and a former Health Ministry director-general. It will be Ben-Yehuda’s first turn at the voluntary post, and she is the first woman to do it since the mid-1990s when Israel’s National Health Insurance Law went into effect.

The other members of the 2023 committee are:

The professional coordinator, Dr. Osnat Luxenburg, who heads the ministry’s medical technologies, innovation, information and research division; Dr. Dov Albukrek, vice president of the medical division of Meuhedet Health Services; Dr. Suhir Asadi, director of the nephrology department at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa; Prof. Haim Bitterman, scientific director of the National Institute for Health Policy Research; Lior Barak, deputy director of health insurance; retired judge Hila Gerstel, who is now a mediator and arbitrator; Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, dean of the School of Public Health of Ben-Gurion University and head of health policy at the Taub Center;

Haim Huppert, deputy director of planning, budgeting and pricing; Noa Heiman, deputy budgets commissioner for budgets at the Finance Ministry; Prof. Shlomo Vinker, head of the medicine division, Leumit Health Services; Dr. Nicky Lieberman of the medical department of Clalit Health Services; Dr. Daniel Landsberg, medical director, Maccabi Health Services; Dr. Sagit Mor, head of the Center for Health, Law and Ethics at the Faculty of Law of the University of Haifa; Dr. Gal Marzan Tsiman of the medical division of Clalit Health Services; Rabbi Dr. Seth Farber, founder of the Itim association; Roi Reicher, coordinator of the health sector in the Finance Ministry’s budget division; and Prof. Yitzhak Shapira, director of Rehabilitation Hospital at Tel Avi-Sourasky Medical Center.

Horowitz commented that “the basket committee has a fundamental role in realizing the basic right to health and designing an equitable and accessible health system for everyone. In the last budget, I increased the budget for the medicine basket and anchored it as part of the state budget. This means greater access to the most innovative and vital technologies and medicines, for citizens who need them. I wish the committee members great success. I trust you to do your work with the necessary sensitivity and in the most professional manner.”

 Illustrative photo shows various medicine pills in their original packaging in Brussels, Belgium August 9, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN) Illustrative photo shows various medicine pills in their original packaging in Brussels, Belgium August 9, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/YVES HERMAN)

Liberman added that “the State of Israel is obligated to provide the best and highest quality treatment to its citizens, and therefore the basket committee is must examine hundreds of medicines and innovative technologies and chose those that will provide the most appropriate treatment, all with sensitivity, professionalism and dedication. This is a professional and balanced team, and I am sure that they will make the best decisions for the citizens of the State of Israel.”