The Knesset's Finance Committee decided last week that that State of Israel
will participate in the payment of medications for all Holocaust survivors living in Israel. The decision will take effect by Holocaust Remembrance Day, which takes place in early May.
The committee decided to cancel the discrimination against a group of 15,000 Holocaust survivors whose medications have not been partially paid by the State due to the pension they receive from Germany.
The matter was initiated by Knesset Member Zeev Bielski (Kadima), who said the discrimination was revealed about a year ago after health maintenance organizations signed an agreement with the government on subsidizing medications for Holocaust survivors.
After learning of the discrimination, Bielski turned to the government, which entered negotiations with the German government to subsidize the medications for the survivors receiving the pension directly from Germany. In the meantime, until the negotiations are completed, the Treasury will subsidize the medications for all Holocaust survivors.
Ofrat Rot, director of the Holocaust Survivors Authority in the Finance Ministry, said the talks with the German treasury were moving fact and that a quick solution was possible. She added, however, that the Treasury didn't have a full list of all survivors receiving pensions from Germany.
Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) concluded that the State cannot allow discrimination between Holocaust survivors, and that the Treasury must begin subsidizing medications for all survivors, regardless of the results of the negotiations with the German government.
Gafni stressed that the Treasury must prepare to take part in the medications' payment so that the target date for the start of the payments won't be after Holocaust Remembrance Day. He noted, however, that two additional problems remain concerning the aid survivors are entitled to get from the State.