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60,000 Children in Israel are Waiting for their Therapies
Sun, Sep 15 2019, 10:00 AM

More than a quarter of a million children in Israel suffer from some type of developmental delay, but the wait-time for receiving treatment in any Kupat Cholim can take months, sometimes even more than a year. Right now, if the next appointment cannot be made within three months, parents are allowed to take their children to private treatments and to be reimbursed from their Kupat Cholim. Now it seems that the Ministry of Health and Kupot Cholim plan on canceling these reimbursements.


In addition, the Ministry of Health, contrary to the Knesset Finance Committee's decision, decided to transfer money designated for Child Development Centers to Kupot Cholim without specifying the amount of money that they were to pass on. The Kupot Cholim have not passed on an adequate amount of money to the centers to keep them running, and some are actually in danger of closing. So far, eleven centers have closed over the past two years, including ones that work with Tipat Chalav and run community intervention programs. For example, the Child Development Center in Rosh Ha'ayin has shrunk dramatically, and instead of caring for hundreds of children, can now only intake dozens.


What happens when the 40,000 children treated in Hitpacthut Hayeled and the 15,000 children treated privately join the 22,000 children who are already waiting for an appointment?


Already today in Hitpatchut Hayeled Centers, Kupot Cholim and hospitals, quality and professional care are often compromised, such as referral of children to group treatments when individual treatments are required, discontinuation of therapy after a series or two (12-24 treatments) despite the need for follow-up treatments, and the complete lack of therapists in some places. The Health Ministry is doing everything possible to save on health care costs and to shorten waiting times, at the expense of children who need help.


If Kupot Cholim cannot provide reimbursement to parents for private therapies after 3 months, families will not receive the services they need in a reasonable amount of time. Children, who might only need some early intervention to catch up to their peers, will not be treated when needed. This will cause more and more children to enter Special Education, an already exploding demographic.


The Ministry of Health responded: "The situation today is that caregivers prefer to work in a private sector because of high wages, and therefore do not come to work in the public sector. As part of the activity promoted by the Ministry, health funds will receive an incentive to purchase public sector services or develop such a service with them, so we expect this reform to increase the standards and for wage in this sector. "


A group of parents are trying to prevent the planned reform and asks other parents to join them in fighting for our children’s future.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/nochilddevelopmentalcare/


To get updates, news and events in Beit Shemesh, join our no-chatter WhatsApp group!
Click here to join: http://bit.ly/BeitShemeshUpdates-5

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