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Decisions regarding updates to the "basket" of subsidized medications will be made in March 2021, instead of in January 2021, due to the coronavirus outbreak, Israel Hayom reported.

Due to the outbreak, the Health Ministry's professional staff focused on management of coronavirus, and did not begin discussing the medication basket on schedule. In addition, a state budget has not yet been passed, and there is not yet a budget for the additions to the medication basket.

There has not been such a significant delay since 2006, when the budget for the basket was passed late due to elections, and the newly-approved medications were made available to patients only in May.

The suggestion for the delay will be presented to Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) for his approval, whose representative told Israel Hayom that "the issue has not yet been brought to us for a decision."

Shmulik Ben Yaakov, chairman of the Society for Patients Rights in Israel, said: "The chronically ill patients were horribly neglected this year due to coronavirus. It bothers me that instead of the health system working to find solutions for these patients, they're once again moving them to the end of the line."

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