Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman expressed satisfaction Friday over having won approval for eight new MRI machines for hospitals and medical centers across the country. Litzman's ultimate goal is to have at least one MRI machine in each hospital.
The deputy minister, who in effect acts as Health Minister, said he will give priority to hospitals in the “periphery” - the north, south, and poverty-stricken cities – which generally are less well-funded than those in central Israel and the Jerusalem area.
The Nahariya hospital, Assaf HaRofeh hospital near Ramle, Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem, and the Barzilai medical center in Ashkelon will each receive MRI equipment. Other machines will be shared by multiple centers: Poriya in Tiberias and Ziv in Tzfat will share one machine, as will the HaEmek and Merchav Natzrat hospitals in the Nazareth and Afula areaa and the Laniado and Hillel Yaffe medical centers, located in Netanyhu and Hadera respectively.
The eighth MRI machine will be mobile and will be made available to those living between Be'er Sheva and Eilat.
Litzman said that following discussions with officials in the Finance Ministry, officials agreed in principle to approve funding for another three machines. A committee made up of representatives from the Health and Finance ministries and the general public has recommended that at least three more machines be made available, to be given to the Hadassah Har HaTzofim (Mount Scopus) hospital in Jerusalem, the Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petach Tikva, and the Meir and Kaplan hospitals in Kfar Saba and Rehovot.
The committee also recommended that two machines be made available to five hospitals and medical centers – Wolfson, Bnei Tzion, Carmel, Maayanei HaYeshua, and Yoseftal – which currently do not have one.
Litzman expressed hope that the new machines “will shorten lines and improve service for those who need this equipment.”