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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Health Ministry’

Unwitting Israelis May Still Be Eating Tainted Telma Cornflakes

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Members of the Knesset State Control Committee are being called back from their vacations to a special session on Tuesday for an investigation into the failure to to prevent salmonella-tainted Telma cornflakes from reaching consumers in Israel.

An inquiry team will arrive at the Unilever Israel Telma factory in Arad as well to conduct a “comprehensive inspection,” lawmakers said, and may consider legal action against the firm.

The Health Ministry has also set up a separate commission of inquiry, headed by Prof. Itamar Gruto, chief of public health services at the ministry.

“We are considering removing the license on the production line,” said Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) on Friday. “Unilever has failed in its conduct and lied to the public and to the Ministry of Health. We view that with severity.”

Inspectors at the manufacturer’s Unilever umbrella company discovered early Friday that 240 boxes of the popular cereal were nowhere to be found, according to a report by Channel 10 News.

All were part of the same shipment recalled by Telma last week due to the discovery of salmonella bacteria in one of the packages.

But it is feared the missing boxes have already reached consumers who shopped at the Shufersal supermarket chain. A customer called the Unilever hotline to report she had purchased a box of the cereal that matched the recalled product number.

Unilever contacted Shufersal to track down where the sale had taken place, eventually pinning it down to the store in Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzchak, in central Israel. Unilever Israel CEO Anat Gabriel also issued a public apology on Thursday night. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the recent events,” she said. “We apologize that we mistakenly announced that no product from the tainted line had reached the market.”

The incident sparked heightened concerns from the Health Ministry, which issued a statement Saturday night, warning that consumers who become ill to call a doctor right away. “We see in this announcement [that tainted boxes were sold] a result of negligence on the part of the company, both towards the public and toward the Health Ministry,” the ministry said.

“The species of salmonella [in question] is not rare or aggressive. It may cause diarrhea or fever. If these symptoms appear, please turn to your doctor.”

The missing packages, which were tracked, are not to be found in any of the storerooms nor on any supermarket shelves stocked by the distributors.

Unilever Israel also released a contamination notice to consumers that read: “Consumers who have in their possession a product on the above list are asked to not consume it and to contact Unilever’s consumer service desk, telephone 1-800-780-780, to obtain a replacement product and have the product in your possession collected.”

The “above list” referred to 240 750-gram packets of Telma brand cornflakes with kosher certification from the ultra-Orthodox Edah Haharedit organization and a production date of June 27, 2016.

The notice asked consumers to take a precautionary measure by avoiding several brands in particular such as Cornflakes of Champions cereal (Alufim) purchased on June 26 and 27; Eda HaHaredit kosher-certified Cornflakes purchased on June 23, June 27, 28 and 29; and Cocoman Tzedafim (Shells) cereal purchased on June 29 and 30.

Tazpit Press Service (TPS) contributed to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

Health Ministry Shuts Down Poultry Processing Plant in Binyamin Region

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Poultry inspectors for the Health Ministry have shut down the Dabah poultry processing plant in the Binyamin region.

The closure came following the discovery of a number of serious health law violations during a routine inspection.

Health Ministry inspectors discovered unsanitary working conditions, poultry past its expiration date and equipment that was improperly maintained, according to a ministry report.

Six tons of chicken were destroyed and an order to close the plant was signed by the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council authority in response to the violations.

Hana Levi Julian

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/medical-marijuana-to-be-available-at-pharmacies/2015/07/27/

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