15.07.2011 13.Tammus, 5771
Haaretz investigation reveals: Israel preventing access to hospital beds despite severe shortage
Israel currently has 900 geriatric rehabilitation beds, which is 1,200 less than the ministry's lowest estimate for what is needed.
In January 2009, the Health Ministry launched an advertising campaign urging senior citizens who underwent serious operations to demand that their health maintenance organization send them to rehabilitation, as required by law, and to complain if it refused.
The timing was not coincidental. The then-health minister, Yacov Ben Yizri, was from the now-defunct Pensioners Party, and he commissioned a study which found that many elderly patients were not being sent for rehabilitation. Instead, the HMOs preferred to put them in long-term hospital care – because while the HMOs must fund rehabilitation, the state pays for long-term geriatric hospitalization….