Ministers decide: Significant addition to health system manpower

Health and Finance Ministers agree on reinforcement of 2,000 nurses, 400 doctors, manpower, and additional procurement for health system.

Mordechai Sones ,

Katz, Edelstein (archive)
Katz, Edelstein (archive)
Flash 90

Finance Minister Yisrael Katz and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein today agreed on a significant reinforcement of 2,000 nurses, of whom 1,600 will go to the hospitals and 400 to the Kupat Holim health funds.

It was also decided to add 400 doctors to the national battle with COVID-19. The first phase of the process is to be implemented immediately and will see 250 new physicians added to the system.

In addition, the ministers agreed on adding 700 administrative, health workers, and professionals, who will be assigned to various coronavirus departments.

This reinforcement of manpower would normally take eight years to carry out. Its goal is to maximize the health system's readiness to deal with coronavirus challenges heading towards the winter months.

The government also agreed to allot billions of shekels towards treatment of the virus. The addition will allow the Health Ministry to prepare for an increase in the rate of coronavirus testing, as demanded by Health Minister Edelstein to up to 60,000 tests a day in the winter.

In addition, resources will be allocated to influenza vaccine acquisition and investment in technological infrastructure, including digitization of medical services for Kupot Holim that they claim will improve remote medicine and reduce patient risk.

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein expressed enthusiastic satisfaction with the arrangement: "The health care system has been starved for years. Together with my colleague Finance Minister Yisrael Katz, we worked to quickly correct the deep problems created in the system and significantly strengthen coronavirus treatment. We established that health is above all. I'm glad that we were able to quickly reach the proper and best possible result. A system that has longed for budgets and standards, receives the oxygen it so desperately needs. A system that's been neglected receives the attention it deserves."

"This isn't the end, but it's a good start to strengthening the medical system in Israel, the system with the best people in the world, which is getting the recognition it deserves as a national priority. This is good news for citizens, doctors, and nurses. An end to neglect and a new page of investment that will move the health system forward," Edelstein declared.

Finance Minister Yisrael Katz said, "We're in a health emergency and therefore I acted quickly to bring about a quick solution to enable the Health Ministry to deal with the many challenges it faces during this period. There's no available doctor and there will be no available nurse who won't be able to work during this period because of a budget that won't pass."

"I appreciate the medical staff, doctors, and nurses and all the members of the health system for the great dedication and the holy work they do. This solution will lead to more efficient work and help the medical staff and the citizens of the country," said Minister Katz.