'MDA committed to health of Israelis in Judea and Samaria'

MDA’s head of operations comments on agreement to allow EMS organization to continue operations in Judea and Samaria.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Magen David Adom ambulance (illustration)
Magen David Adom ambulance (illustration)

After weeks of negotiations between Israeli government officials and representatives of Magen David Adom, Israel’s national EMS organization, the government agreed on Thursday to fully release funds allocated for MDA to provide enhanced EMS services the organization provides in Judea and Samaria.

“Years ago, because of heightened concerns about security and the distances between communities in Yesha, the Israeli government asked MDA to provide enhanced services in Judea and Samaria, to allocate resources greater than what would normally be provided for an area with 400,000 Israelis,” said Ronen Bashari, MDA’s head of operations.

“Despite that we were providing services there each year at a cost to us of 13.6 million shekels [about $3.8 million], our reimbursements from the government have dwindled to 7.5 million shekels a year,” he added.

“With this agreement, our services there will be fully funded for 2019, easing the financial pressure Magen David Adom has been under while we’ve continued to fully provide EMS services there,” continued Bashari.

As a stop-gap measure, MDA had proposed reallocating resources in Judea and Samaria to save money while still providing the same level of service. But the proposal would have put an additional workload on MDA’s volunteer EMTs and called for dispatching more ambulances from EMT’s homes in order to facilitate reducing the hours of operation, and the costs associated with that, of MDA’s 17 emergency medical stations there. However, the government’s decision to fully fund operations in Judea and Samaria, makes those changes unnecessary.

“We are committed to the health and safety of Israelis in Judea and Samaria,” Bashari stressed, “just as we are committed to the health of all of Israel’s citizens. So we are delighted with this decision.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)