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April 30, 2016 / 22 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘medical’

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

Minister Uri Ariel is Home After Heart Procedure in Jerusalem

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center have successfully removed a blood clot from the heart of Agriculture Minister and Bayit Yehudi MK Uri Ariel.

The minister was admitted to the hospital Monday after feeling unwell. He underwent a cardiac catheterization and other tests, which led to the removal of the clot.

Ariel was discharged from the hospital in good condition on Wednesday. He has been ordered to “rest for a while.”

Jewish Press Staff

IDF Plans to Include HIV-Positive Soldiers in Future Drafts

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

The IDF plans soon to change its policy and begin drafting soldiers who are HIV-positive.

If and when that happens, young Israeli teens who until now were unable to join their peers in army uniforms due to their medical profiles will be channeled into non-combat positions.

Up to this point, HIV-positive individuals were automatically ruled unfit for service due to their medical condition. But if the proposed policy change is approved at the higher echelons, that will change.

“These recruits will undergo extra medical tests by a team of military and civil physicians prior to their draft,” Lt. Libby Weiss, head of the IDF North American media desk told JewishPress.com. “If all their examinations check out and they are completely healthy other than their HIV status, they will enter the military with a physical profile of 45.”

Weiss explained this will allow HIV-positive soldiers to serve in a variety of positions, “including technical support, intelligence and cyber warfare.”

Such recruits will be assigned to posts where medical personnel are kept informed of their status and maintain an active connection with their outside physicians. This is an exception to the norm, which mandates soldiers to restrict their medical care to military medical staff.

“In the case of the HIV-positive soldier, medical personnel on base will be in close contact with the outside treating physician,” said Weiss. “But in any case, only soldiers who are entirely in control of their condition would be accepted to serve.”

Over the past 10 years, the IDF has sometimes allowed HIV-positive individuals to volunteer when they insisted on enlisting, after lengthy interviews and examinations.

The move again places the IDF in a leadership role, Weiss said, pointing out that “Israel is the first nation to allow HIV-positive soldiers to serve” in its military.

“It is a very important step,” she said. “By accepting HIV-positive recruits into the army, we also reduce the social stigma around the virus that causes AIDS, and the stigma these people face in society.”

The new policy emerged from within the medical corps, which periodically reviews enlistment medical criteria. It now goes to IDF Chief Medical Officer Col. Dr. David “Dudu” Dagon, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for approval before it can take effect.

“I don’t think we are talking about a long process,” Weiss said. “It won’t be within a week or two, but it also won’t take years, either.”

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

Israeli Military Medics Rescue Palestinian Arab Girl in Hebron

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

An Israeli military medical team rescued a Palestinian Authority Arab girl Thursday in Hebron who suddenly went into respiratory distress.

The team, serving with the Border Guard Police, responded to an emergency call from the family who said the child was having trouble breathing, according to Israel’s Channel 2 TV.

Upon arrival paramedic Sgt. Shai Chen also found that the girl’s pulse was irregular. He quickly hooked her up to oxygen, speaking to calm her down as he did so.

“I told her I was with her and that everything is fine,” he said, adding that he was able to stabilize her condition after she started receiving oxygen.

The Arab family thanked the medic and the emergency response unit for its quick assistance. “We were given care and slowly her breathing returned to normal,” family members said.

Fighters on the scene transferred the child for further treatment by medics from the Red Crescent emergency service, who arrived later.

“The entire family thanked us,” a spokesperson for the Border Guard Police said. This is not the first case in which a paramedic has provided primary care and life-saving intervention for local Arabs. In recent months, battalion medic Sgt. Krissy Lidor saved the lives of three residents.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel-Japan Researchers Teaming on Autism and Brain Research

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Israeli and Japanese researchers are teaming on a project to learn how autistic spectrum disorder develops in the brain.

The prevalence of autistic spectrum disorders has been steadily rising; in most parts of the world rates as high as 1 percent are reported, including in the United States. In Israel, previously reported prevalence rates have been in the 0.2 percent rage and were  based on parental reporting of diagnosis. However, they too appear to be rising.

The scientists met together at a conference that convened following a visit to Israel by japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A group of leading Japanese scientists arrived at the Weizmann Institute of Science late last week  to attend the Advances in Brain Sciences conference, which was  was jointly hosted by Weizmann in Rehovot and the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan.

Weizmann’s conference co-organizer Dr. Ofer Yizhar is currently involved in the collaborative research project with RIKEN researcher Toru Takumi. The joint project is aimed at determining which neural mechanisms are involved in autistic spectrum disorder behaviorisms, Yizhar explained.

“Takumi creates mice that have a genetic defect which mimics autism,” he explained, “while my optogenetics lab can work with these mice, turning neurons in the brain ‘on’ and ‘off’ with light.”

There were a number of other presentations at the conference as well.

Keynote speaker Professor Shimon Ullman (Weizmann) spoke on visual recognition, a subject that crosses the boundaries between neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Ullman has worked with RIKEN’s Dr. Manabu Tanifuji for a number of years. “Scientificc and personal connections have deepened over the years,” he said, “and we are currently planning the next steps of joint work in the future.”

In 2010, prevalence rates for autistic spectrum disorders in Israel were found to be 0.65 percent in eight year old children, and 0.48 percent in children ages 1 to 12, per 1,000 children, according to an article published in 2013 in the Journal of Autism and Development Disorders.

The article, entitled ‘Prevalence and incidence of autism spectrum disorder in an Israeli population, listed the findings of a study of records from the Maccabi Health Maintenance Organization (HMO / kupat holim) Child Neurology and Development, Child Development Center, Jerusalem and Shfela District.

Canada-Israel Autism Research Symposium was also held for the first time last March at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, jointly sponsored by the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Hub at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada and the Canadian Friends of The Hebrew University.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-japan-researchers-teaming-on-autism-and-brain-research/2015/01/21/

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