Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Health Minister Ya'acov Ben-Yizri rejected criticism by the Israel Medical Association of the new members of the committee that will recommend new medications and medical technologies for the 2008 health services basket. The health funds must provide these drugs and technologies to members who need them, at state expense. IMA Chairman Dr. Yoram Blachar, a member of the new basket committee, attacked the choice of nominees and called the committee an "impotent" body chosen according to the Treasury's directives. "These are dark days for the health system," he said, adding that the IMA would consider whether to participate at all in the committee. Blachar said that seven of the 16 members were state employees who might have a conflict of interest. In the previous committee, only three of 21 received their salaries from the government. "There is no representative of patients' groups, no social economist, no expert for general ethics matters and no representation of many medical fields, such as family physicians. And there is no hospital director," he noted.