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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Health Ministry’

Litzman Pressures Reluctant Hospitals to Shorten Wait for MRI Scans

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

At least two medical centers in Israel are locked in a power struggle with the Health Ministry over funding support for MRI procedures.

The number of MRI exams carried out in the afternoon and evening hours was seriously reduced beginning December 1 by the Clalit HMO at Beilinson Medical Center in Petach Tikvah and Be’er Sheva’s Sorokah Medical Center, Galei Tzahal Army Radio reported Tuesday.

This, despite a reform announced by Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman that was supposed to sharply cut the long wait for such procedures.

Because the MRI machine-hours have been slashed in the afternoon and evening hours at the two hospitals, many clinics have been unable to schedule patients for MRI exams as well.

Officials blamed a lack of state funding was responsible for the cut in services.

“Unfortunately we ran out of funds to operate the second shift, so we were forced to reduce our services by 30 percent,” said a spokesperson for Beilinson Medical Center.

“Operating the MRI in afternoon and evening hours is only possible with funding from the state,” said Soroka Medical Center. “The budget just could not stretch far enough, and therefore our services were reduced.”

The Ministry of Health has responded that the “availability and quality of services in the health basket are dependent upon the financial situation of the specific health fund; the ministry will review the matter with the director-general.”

However, Litzman added bluntly that if the hospitals did not cooperate and shorten the wait for MRI exams, he would “not hesitate to cancel their arrangements of choice.”

Such arrangements refer to agreements between the HMOs and hospitals to determine which medical center receives patients for which particular treatment.

Such a decision can exert major influence on an institution’s economic development.

Bottom line: if the hospitals don’t step up and cooperate, the health ministry is not likely to provide them with the support they need for further growth — at least, as long as Ya’acov Litzman remains health minister.

Hana Levi Julian

Dr. Orly Weinstein to Head Israel Hospitals Authority

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Dr. Orly Weinstein has been chosen Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman to head the hospital authority that was formed out of the Israeli Health Ministry during the previous administration.

Weinstein’s responsibilities will include supervision over all general, geriatric and psychiatric medical centers that are owned and operated by the State of Israel.

Technically, the division to be administered by Weinstein is considered an authority separate and apart from the Health Ministry.

The change took place due to a reform approved by the cabinet during the tenure of the previous health minister, Yael German.

Weinstein is replacing Esther Dominissini, the first person to head the authority. Dominissini served as a former board chairperson of the Hadassah Medical Organization and other major agencies. She resigned after the most recent election.

Hana Levi Julian

New Training Program Prepares Israeli Doctors to Prescribe Medical Cannabis

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

It will probably be a long time before Israelis see medical cannabis on the shelves of their pharmacies — if ever — but many of their doctors are likely to be trained and certified in prescribing the drug as a new medication within the next several weeks.

Two main objectives set by Health Minister Yaacov Litzman towards the goal of making the product more available to Israeli patients were reached on Thursday.

The sale of medical cannabis to pharmacies is going to become easier, and certification and permits for doctors to prescribe the product for their patients will also be eased.

In fact, the accreditation of doctors for prescribing the plant as a treatment is only weeks away, according to a report posted Thursday by Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

The Israel Medical Association is providing a two-day training program in cooperation with the Health Ministry to prepare doctors across a range of specialties for accreditation in the use of the drug as a treatment.

“Physicians who want to learn how to treat with cannabis will learn when to prescribe it and when not to,” Dr. Leonid Eidelman told the radio station.

The training will be led by teams from the Israel Medical Association and the medical cannabis unit at the Ministry of Health, headed by Dr. Michael Dor.

Hana Levi Julian

Mistaken for Terrorist, Man Killed in Jerusalem

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

It was a tragic, horrible case of mistaken identity that ended in rage and tears.

Witnesses say two security officials began to board an Egged bus in the Romema section of Jerusalem late Wednesday night — but a passenger who was disembarking became suspicious, and asked them to show their IDs.

One of the soldiers responded by asking the passenger for his ID as well.

An argument then ensued, with the passenger possibly attacking the soldier, and may have tried to grab his gun.

A shot rang out.

And now a Jew is dead.

The current wave of terror has brought everyone’s tolerance for tension to the edge, with each person looking twice at the next and double-checking even himself in the mirror in the morning before breakfast.

Some children and even adults are reporting difficulties with falling and staying asleep, and mental health professionals are reporting a higher-than-average incidence of anxiety among populations in larger cities, particularly in Jerusalem.

People who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are at particularly high risk for a recurrence of symptoms during these times, and should not hesitate to seek assistance if they experience flashbacks or any other upsetting feelings at any time.

In Jerusalem, Shaare Zedek Medical Center is available to provide support to anyone who is experience extreme anxiety, regardless of medical insurance coverage or ability to pay, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Simply go to the hospital emergency room and request assistance at the desk.

Likewise, Health Ministry mental health clinics around the city are also providing supportive counseling as well for those who feel overwhelmed by the current situation.

Hana Levi Julian

Medical Marijuana to be Available at Pharmacies

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Israelis soon will be able to take a doctor’s prescription for marijuana to the local pharmacy, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said Monday.

He noted that pharmacies issue prescriptions for other drugs that are considered narcotics and that procedures are well-supervised. A case in point is Ritalin. A person wanting to fill a prescription for the drug, which when ground up and sniffed can be extremely dangerous, has to wait at the counter until the pharmacist opens the safe.

“I will fight an aggressive war not to allow this to get out of control,” said Litzman, who in effect is the Health Minster, a title he does not accept because the Hareidi Yehadut Torah (United Torah Judaism) party does not want to be part of a “Zionist” Cabinet.

He said that making marijuana available at pharmacies awaits court approval concerning tenders for growers of “grass.”

Litzman said that there procedures overseeing prescriptions for marijuana will be issued either through law or administrative orders.

Health Ministry Prof. Boaz Lev added that officials will make it possible for more doctors to be able to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

9 Hospitals Okay to Buy MRIs, ‘Without Funding’

Friday, December 5th, 2014

In principal, nine Israeli hospitals received approval Thursday to purchase – at their own expense – Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines.

The green light came from the Knesset Labor, Social Services and Health Committee just before Yesh Atid MK and Health Minister Yael German quit her post after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired German’s party chairman, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, from his post in the coalition government.

The hospitals were blocked by the Finance Ministry from purchasing the life-saving machines until now, even at their own expense, due to the costs to the HMOs.

Hospitals marked to receive the machines over the next three years include five state-owned medical centers – Wolfson in Holon, Ziv in Tzfat, Hillel Jaffe in Hadera, Poriya in Tiberias and Bnei Zion in Haifa; Emek in Afula, owned by Clalit Health Services and three others to be decided in future.

In September 2010, eight new MRI machines were approved for various hospitals and medical centers around the country as well.

MRI scan is a medical procedure in which human body organs and structures can be viewed using a large magnet and radio waves. The instrument is used most often to scan the brain, spinal cord, chest, abdomen, blood vessels and bones.

It is used to help diagnose various medical conditions and diseases or abnormalities such as tumors, infection, injury or bleeding. But due to the expense involved, an MRI is usually only recommended in Israel only after a problem has been spotted in an X-ray, CT scan or ultrasound scan.

Also approved just before the resignation of the health minister was permission for the purchase of a Positron-Emission Tomography (PET) scanner by the Augusta Victoria hospital on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.

The number of CT machines being used for dentistry around the country, however, are to be limited in order to minimize overexposure to radiation.

Purchase of a nuclear accelerator was also approved for cancer treatment in the center of the country, along with cardiology x-ray machines and special decompression chamber.

Hana Levi Julian

Ebola Victim Dies in Texas; Israel Gears Up to Meet Threat

Friday, October 10th, 2014

The first person on American soil diagnosed with the lethal Ebola virus, 42-year-old Thomas Eric Duncan, died Wednesday just before the Jewish Sukkot holiday, according to NBC News.

Duncan, a Liberian national who was diagnosed just days after arriving in Texas from Liberia, succumbed after nearly two weeks of battling the virus in an isolation room in a Dallas hospital. He had been treated with the experimental medication brincidofovir. The same medication is now being used to treat American journalist Ashoka Mukpo, who was airlifted from Liberia to a hospital to Nebraska on Monday.

Since the outbreak began in West Africa in March, more than 3,400 people have died from the Ebola virus out of nearly 7,500 confirmed, probable and suspected cases.

The U.S. has announced plans to begin screening air passengers arriving from affected countries sometime this weekend.

In Israel, meanwhile, health care officials are gearing up to deal with the strong possibility that Ebola may arrive in the Jewish State.

Israel is noting the progression of the disease across the continents as it moves closer to the Middle East.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gathered top ministers in his Jerusalem office just prior to the start of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot to review Israel’s readiness for the Ebola virus.

Health Minister Yael German, Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz, Deputy Interior Minister Fania Kirsenbaum, and representatives from Israel Police, the Airports Authority and the Foreign Ministry participated in the discussion.

Officials from the health ministry presented information on the current global situation regarding the spread and transmission of the virus.

The greatest concern about the spread of the disease was focused on Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the communique from the prime minister’s office. Government officials resolved to identify people entering the country from those nations, where the virus is the most prevalent. The foreign and health ministries are both advising Israelis to avoid travel to those areas as well.

Three mobile clinics have been dispatched by Israel to affected areas in western Africa to help combat the illness, the committee said.

Also this week, a Spanish nurse who became the first person to contract the virus outside of West Africa was admitted to hospital, according to a report by the BBC. Teresa Romero was part of a team of 30 staff caring for two missionaries who later died from the virus after returning from West Africa. Romero told the El Pais newspaper she believed she may have contracted the disease while removing her protective suit after cleaning one of the missionaries’ rooms.

Two doctors who treated her have also been admitted to the hospital for observation; so far, neither has shown any symptoms of Ebola, a spokesperson for the Carlos III Medical Center confirmed.

Romero’s brother was quoted as saying her health has worsened and she is now being helped with her breathing.

A Spanish court order to euthanize the nurse’s dog was issued Tuesday even though it was not clear whether the animal was infected or even bore any risk of carrying the disease. Protesters quickly gathered outside Romero’s home after animal rights groups were alerted by her husband, who is also being kept in isolation in a hospital as a precaution; they tried to stop the government van that came to remove the dog from her home.

In other parts of the world, Australia has also reported its first case of the disease this week, and a Turkish worker has been hospitalized with a suspected case in Istanbul as well.

Health officials in Germany have confirmed a third Ebola patient who arrived in the country after having contracted the illness in Liberia.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ebola-victim-dies-in-texas-israel-gears-up-to-meet-threat/2014/10/10/

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