“Celebrity benefits” in hospital appointments for people with connections?

According to publications and in light of numerous appeals recently received by us, we have been exposed to a grave phenomenon of “celebrity benefits” in hospital appointments.

The “favoritism” phenomenon includes, amongst others, the bringing forward of appointments for tests or surgeries, the allocation of beds in wards and not in the corridor, etc., all the foregoing in health matters involving truly crucial decisions.

In this manner, the following absurd and corrupt situation has been created: authorities at the Ministry of Health intervene in the professional medical considerations and approach hospital directors and doctors demanding  priority for people who have succeeded in reaching the Minister’s Office as a result of various connections and according to reports presented to the Movement, allegedly also by virtue of their association with the Gur Hasidic sect  with whom MK Litzman, the former Health Minister, is identified. Thus, instead of priority being determined in accordance with medical prioritization, a new order of priorities is being created – which serves those who are well-connected.

Public medicine in Israel suffers from insufficient availability of appointments and a lack of resources. Perhaps instead of providing assistance in individual cases, the decision makers will be so kind as to take steps to produce a systemic reduction in the waiting period for appointments that will serve the general public? After all, a program has already been launched in this regard, so why has the budget for its implementation not been transferred?

And when already dealing with specific cases – where preference of an individual case is sought on the basis of “medical urgency”, a professional committee should be established to examine special cases – and not political entities who decide without any suitable background and in a biased manner!

We sent a letter to the State Comptroller with a request to investigate the allegations. At the same time, we approached the Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit and the Health Ministry legal advisor, Mira Hibner-Harel with a request to issue clear directives to avert the phenomenon.