NIS 500M Added to Health Basket for New Treatments

Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Despite the fact that there is no budget for 2020 yet, and no government to authorize one, the Health and Finance Ministries on Thursday agreed that an additional NIS 500 million ($143,102,000) will be available for prescription drugs, treatments and programs to assist the ill. The extra money will pay for subsidies for new drugs that were approved for the “health basket,” the list of drugs and treatments that Israelis are eligible for under national health insurance.

The figure is NIS 200 million less than the Health Ministry had sought, but the Ministry said it would make do with the smaller figure. The money will come from other portions of the health budget that were funded, but were not fully expended.

“This is an important development for patients and for the health system,” said Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism). “I made it clear all along that NIS 500 million was the minimum we needed to ensure that patients are taken care of, which is the main concern of the health system. We struggled to achieve this deal despite the challenging political situation, given that the current budget is set to expire, but the needs of patients are ongoing, requiring new funding for 2020,” he said.