About 14,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Israel since the onset of the war are currently ineligible to receive health services, according to a report by Ynet.
Their medical insurance has lapsed because the Finance Ministry has not renewed its validity, according to the report.
"Some hospitals have already been informed that the ongoing treatment for these refugees will be unfunded. Insiders have described this situation as a 'major humanitarian crisis,'" the report stated.
Israel is suffering a major humanitarian crisis with health services denied to Ukrainian refugees
The Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry acknowledged that the medical insurance funding was not renewed and has also appealed to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to take action: "Regrettably, the government did not extend the medical insurance budget. We urge both the Finance Ministry and the PMO to address this matter urgently," they said in a statement.
"For the past 18 months, the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry has been upholding the Israeli government's decision to grant humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian war refugees residing in Israel, as is appropriate during times of conflict. To facilitate this aid, the ministry has been allocated a budget of NIS 100 million, which has aided roughly 83,000 Ukrainian nationals. Eighty percent of this budget is designated for health insurance and medical services. It's worth noting that, at present, the ministry will persist in offering welfare and emergency housing services to Ukrainian war refugees in Israel," the ministry said in a statement.
Yair Smolyanov, the director of immigrant absorption at the One Million Lobby, commented in a statement to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday on the Treasury's decision. He said that "It's an unprecedented situation. Israel, having previously prioritized aiding Ukrainian war refugees, now seems to be regressing." The One Million Lobby promotes better integration and acknowledgment of Russian-speaking olim.
Smolyanov added: "Instead of directly telling the refugees to leave, it’s piling on challenges, hinting they're no longer welcome. Medical care without insurance is exorbitantly expensive, and it's unrealistic to expect refugees to afford such costs. Moreover, this decision was abrupt and without prior notice. From tomorrow, these individuals will feel abandoned once again, given the dire circumstances they face as victims of an ongoing war in Ukraine. It appears that the finance minister is pushing these people away from Israel, even as their homeland remains under attack. We strongly urge the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office to seek necessary solutions and reconsider this harsh decision."
"This is a top-tier humanitarian crisis," said Rabbi Reuven Azmans, one of the chief rabbis of Ukraine. He added that "the State of Israel must offer humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian war refugees residing within its borders, as is the duty during times of conflict. Nothing could be more essential or moral. I implore the Finance Ministry, the PMO, and all relevant parties to address this matter urgently."