Israel’s new list of medicines, treatments and medical technologies covered by national health insurance has been approved, with 88 new medicines and treatments approved at a cost of NIS 300 million.  The national “health basket” is now estimated to be worth NIS 7.3 billion.

Many of the new additions focus on preventative medicine, including a vaccine against papilloma virus which has been linked to cervical cancer.

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Genetics tests will now be covered by the government, as well as prenatal nuchal translucency tests.

A special pacemaker controlling the diaphragm will also be made available to the approximately 15 people a year who are diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, postponing the need to connect the sufferers to respirators.

Two new cancer drugs and four new psychiatric medications have also been approved, as well as dental treatments for certain oral disorders.

Not included in the package were genetic tests for relatives of people who died young from heart attacks, Botox for muscular tics of the face, freezing the eggs of women who may want to become pregnant later in life, and an electrical heart implant for cardiac insufficiency.

Approximately 300,000 Israelis are expected to directly benefit from the new medical basket.

In the last four years, the Ministry of Health has approved 297 new medications and treatments for coverage by health insurance.

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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