Israeli doctors despondent over marginalization of health as campaign issue
A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
So far, health issues have been all-but-forgotten by the parties in the election campaign.
The Israel Medical Association – despondent that the pressing issues of health are being ignored in the election campaign – is launching a media effort demanding that the government spend NIS 9 billion more on medical care.The publicity campaign will encompass billboards, social media and others to place healthcare “on the agenda not only when functioning of hospital emergency rooms threaten to collapse.”So far, health issues have been all but forgotten by the parties in the election campaign.Residents will be invited to go to the IMA’s website at www.medical-association. org, where they can see photos of the heads of 12 political parties. When clicked, users will be able to send them a Facebook post from IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman demanding more money for healthcare. Voters will also be able to add their own reactions.Eidelman noted that the number of local medical school graduates remains too low compared to other OECD nations, and that the gap in medical services between the center of the country and the periphery is still wide. The publicity campaign includes signs of an elderly person demanding to know why she has to wait so long for surgery; a child with cancer on why the drug he needs is not included in the basket of health services; a patient asking why his doctor has only five minutes to spend with him; and a woman physician complaining that there are too few doctors on the ward.On Friday, February 27, the campaign will ask residents to “vote for health” via an IMA “ballot” to be placed in boxes at Azrieli shopping malls around the country.