Gov't debates Sharon's medical care

Sharon, a former minister, may not be entitled to gov't-funded treatment.

sharon hospital 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
sharon hospital 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The temporary finance committee of the 17th Knesset met on Monday morning to discuss continued government funding of Ariel Sharon's medical care. Now that Sharon, for the first time in years, is considered a "former" minister, he is not necessarily entitled to have his hospitalization and contingent costs paid for out of the government budget, Army Radio reported.
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Prime Minister's Office Director-General Ilan Cohen, who intends to resign in May, sent an urgent letter to finance committee chairman Yaakov Litzman, in which he asked that an exception to the rule be made in Sharon's case. Three weeks ago, two senior neurosurgeons from Dan region hospitals examined Sharon, who remains in a coma at Hadassah-University Hospital in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem. The physicians are considering an operation next week to reattach the quarter of his skull that was removed during brain operations nearly three months ago. The operation, to be performed for esthetic purposes, would be part of preparations to move him to a long-term care institution. Prof. Moshe Hadani of Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer and Prof. Zvi Rappaport of the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva examined Sharon on Wednesday. The PM's doctors and family have not yet decided when and where to transfer him.