President urges patients to end strike

Katsav, health minister meet cancer patients asking for medication funding.

katsav cancer patient (photo credit: Channel 10)
katsav cancer patient
(photo credit: Channel 10)
President Moshe Katsav and Health Minister Ya'acov Ben-Yizri have asked colon cancer patients who have been waging a hunger strike in protest that their life-extending medications have not been included in the health basket, to show more concern for their well-being, to stop striking, but to continue to struggle for their rights. The two men met representatives of the strikers on Thursday at Beit Hanassi. One of the strikers, Assaf Alon, fainted on the way in and was taken was taken to a hospital, but was later pronounced to be in a good condition. Before meeting with the strikers and their children Katsav asked to have a private consultation with Ben-Yizri in order to be updated on measures being taken to find a solution to the problem. The patients suffering from colon cancer explained to the president why they could not afford to fund the expensive drugs which they must take regularly in order to survive. They also spoke of the financial burden that their families have shouldered as a result of their illness. Although they were reluctant to accept the monetary gifts of generous philanthropists such as billionaire Sammy Ofer who has made $3.5 million available for medications until such time as the matter is resolved, they were urged by both the president and the health minister to accept the gifts as an interim solution so that they could keep going. Katsav promised to keep a close eye on developments in coming days and to make himself available to advocate on behalf of the strikers and others whose days will be numbered if they do not have reasonable to access to essential medicines.