Approved for Final Reading: Hospitals Authorized to Ban Entry of Chametz During Pesach

Chairman of the Health Committee MK Uriel Busso leads a committee meeting at the Knesset. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

​The Health Committee, chaired by MK Rabbi Uriel Busso (Shas), approved on Monday the Patient’s Rights Bill ​for its second and third readings.

The bill stipulates that hospital directors will be authorized to decide on “special arrangements that are required for keeping kashrus during Pesach for the hospital’s patients.” Among other things, the bill states, a hospital director may introduce, after considering other alternatives, instructions regarding the prohibition or restriction on bringing chametz into the hospital, or into a section of it, during Pesach. In determining these instructions, the hospital director will take into consideration the patients’ rights and needs, including their medical needs, and he may also take into consideration the needs of escorts and employees.

Under the bill, such instructions will be posted on the hospital’s website, and if the hospital does not have a website, the guidelines will be published on the Health Ministry website. Signs with the abovementioned instructions will be placed in the hospital. In the event that a hospital director decides to prohibit or restrict the entry of chametz, he may authorize a hospital worker to inform visitors about the instructions.

During the debate that preceded the vote, Committee Chairman MK Busso said, “This is a balanced bill that provides a solution precisely to what the High Court of Justice spoke about – that there is no authorization. So we are giving the directors the authorization to decide, hang signs, inform. There will be no searching of [visitors’] bags and no use of magnetometers for detecting chametz.”

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