Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
Photo: Ohad Zweigenberg

State raises price of hospitalization

Despite High Court ruling that calls for bolstered healthcare budget, Health and Finance ministries raise price of hospitalization by 1.4%

The Treasury and the Health Ministry decided on Wednesday to increase the cost of hospitalization, only days after the High Court of Justice ordered the State to increase the budget allocated to Israel's health maintenance organizations.


The decision bumps the price of a day spent at the hospital by 1.4%. The price was previously raised by 4.6% in January. The decision was made by the inter-ministerial Pricing Committee.


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HMOs slammed the measure, saying that it violated an order issued by the High Court last Friday. The court accused the Finance and Health ministries of detracting from the right to health by systematically cutting the HMOs' budgets. The judges ordered the ministries to devise a more appropriate budget for the country's health services within six months.


"We expected the Pricing Committee to internalize the High Court's ruling and make efforts to implement it immediately, before updating the prices," said a spokesperson for Clalit Health Services, the HMO that petitioned the court for a higher budget.


Maccabi Healthcare Services responded in the same vein, branding the decision an act of "underhanded opportunism."


"The State has completely ignored the High Court's decision," officials at the HMO said. "The Supreme Court clearly asserted that the State is obligated by the law to (appropriately) budget the health services… instead of fixing the problem, the Treasury decided to continue hurting the patients."


The Finance Ministry explained that the price hike stemmed from the budgetary changes necessitated by the wage contracts signed with medical professionals recently.


The ministry further stressed that the court gave it six months to revise its budgets, and noted that it was impossible to stop the price of hospitalization from rising in the middle of the year.


The cost of health services are updated each year in accordance with the cost of a day spent at the hospital. Treasury officials noted that a new pricing system for hospitalization is in the works.



פרסום ראשון: 06.29.12, 07:43
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