The government will increase its subsidy for the medical treatment of Holocaust survivors. Although their numbers are dwindling, there are still tens of thousands of survivors in Israel, and on Sunday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid allocated an additional NIS 30 million for their medical treatment.
The allocation came after discussions with organizations representing survivors, who have long sought the increase in treatment money. Those eligible include Israelis who are receiving a stipend from the National Insurance Institute as Holocaust survivors, as well as those receiving reparation payments directly from Germany. The money will go to fund additional services and medications, expanding the medication list that is covered by the state's national health law.
Announcing the benefits, Lapid said that it was one of several his office was planning to make the lives of survivors easier. The benefits are expected to kick in beginning April 1, 2014.
The package was announced a day in advance of the release of the “medication basket” for 2014. On Monday, the Health Ministry is expected to release the list of medications that will be covered by the national health law. Subsidized medicines are available to all Israelis via their health funds (kupot holim) for a minimal payment, usually about NIS 10 per prescription, with the fee waived for those in financial need. The basket generally contains a wide range of medications for a wide array of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and infertility, with treatments for infertility generally covered by the law.