Ukraine envoy slams government over refugee health care debacle

Ambassador Yevgen Korniychuk says not only does Israel refuse to provide Kyiv with defensive weapons; now government is mistreating refugees fleeing Russian atrocities; says ministers should not turn their back on refugees and leave them without a safety net

Adir Yanko|Updated:
Yevgen Korniychuk, Ukraine's envoy to Israel said on Thursday that he was disappointed at the treatment of refugees by the government after it refused to extend their health insurance. Some 14,000 people who sought shelter in Israel since the Russian invasion of Ukraine were informed that the medical insurance that was available to them had expired and was not being renewed by the government, leaving them without access to medical care including hospitalization, rehabilitation and medication.
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Hospitals were advised by the government that the cost of care they provide to refugees would not be reimbursed. In one case reported by Ynet, a 65-year-old woman was removed from the care facility where she was residing and was told that she would have to pay for 4 dialysis treatments she receives every week.
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יבגן קורניינצ'וק
יבגן קורניינצ'וק
Ukrainian ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk
(Photo: Nadav Aves)
"We are disappointed and concerned," he said. "Not only does Israel refuse to sell Ukraine defensive weapon systems, it now withholds medical care to refugees who escaped the massacre perpetrated by Russia. We call on the Israeli government not to turn its back on this basic human need," the ambassador said adding a call to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Social Affairs and Social Services Minister Yaakov Margi to reverse their decision and supply the refugees with the basic social safety net.
The Social Affairs and Social Services Ministry said 100 million shekel were budgeted to provide assistance to some 83,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, 80% of which was for health care. "The ministry will continue to provide lodging and emergency social services," a statement released by the ministry said.
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אלה פלטקין פליטה מאוקראינה
אלה פלטקין פליטה מאוקראינה
Ukrainian refugee Ekla Platkin was told to pay for dialysis after health insurance expires
But groups advocating for the refugees said the government has turned its back on them. "There is a clear policy to differentiate between different population groups, and cast some of them aside," they said. Others criticized the Health Ministry for not stepping in to assist those who require medical care.
First published: 14:06, 08.10.23
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