The Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved the State Cord Blood Bank regulation, some three years after a law to that effect was approved by the House, Ynet learned Thursday.
Israel already has four private cord blood banks, but as private institutions, there fees are sometimes steep. The new cord blood bank will enable women who cannot afford these fees to enjoy State funding if they choose to store fetal cord blood.
The initial operating cost of the new bank is estimated at NIS 5 million (approx. $1.48 million).
Unlike the private banks, who store the cord blood for the exclusive use of the babies it was harvested from and their families, the State Cord Blood Bank will also be used as a donor bank, and cord blood stored in it would be made available to the public, as well as registered with the International Cord Blood Registry.
The new guidelines aim to regulate storage guidelines, oversight and research, as well as define various licensing, harvesting and disposal protocols.
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