Over 100 Medicines Added to 2019 Health Basket

YERUSHALAYIM -
Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman speaks during a press conference announcing the new health basket at the Ministry of Health in Yerushalayim on Thursday. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The Committee to Expand the Health Services Basket for 2019 recommended the addition of 107 drugs and technologies worth NIS 460 million ($123 million) to the state-subsidized health basket on Thursday.

This will also include treatments for about 70 thousand patients and medical tests.

Annual additions to the basket, which already includes most lifesaving drugs, are limited by the budget allocated by the Treasury.

The committee, chaired by Prof. Ronni Gamzu, director general of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and former director general of the Health Ministry, evaluated 770 treatments over the past year before reaching a final decision subject to the budget at its disposal.

Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said that “the 2019 health basket includes dramatic achievements for patients, and I am proud of the results presented by the committee.

“Unfortunately, the budget is never sufficient for all the needs, but I must emphasis our achievement to achieve a significant addition to the basket thanks to our cooperation with the Finance Ministry.

“I do believe that we have reached a situation where there is a need to increase the basket’s budget to meet existing health needs, and I therefore intend to demand in the next coalition agreement an increase in the annual health basket to NIS 700 million.”

The list of additional treatments is now subject to cabinet approval. Once approved, patients will be able to receive the additional medical treatments without charge.