Ministers Visit Ziv


Minister of Health, MK Yael German, accompanied by the Ministry's General Director, Prof. Ronni Gamzo and the Mayor of Zefat, Mr. Ilan Shohat, visited Ziv for the first time on December 26th, 2013. Minister German was especially moved during her visit to the Pediatric Department where a number of severely wounded Syrian children are hospitalized. The Minister thanked the medical staff at the Ziv for their dedicated and professional work throughout the year and noted in particular the humanitarian treatment of wounded Syrians and the excellent work during the snow storm.

The tour of the hospital was followed by a Press Conference, joined by Minister of Finance, MK Yair Lapid, in which the Ministers issued a joint statement regarding their support for the hospitals in the Galilee. Ziv Medical Center will receive 24 million shekel for the purchase of an MRI and a Linear Accelerator for the Radiotherapy Unit, which is currently under construction. Minister Yael German stated that "residents of the area should not have to travel to Haifa or the center of the country to receive health services. One of the main concerns of the Ministry of Health is to reduce health disparities between the north and the center of the country, the budget will therefore focus on the periphery, with Zefat as an example".

The Director of the Ziv Medical Center, Dr. Oscar Embon said: "The opening of the Radiotherapy Institute for cancer patients is a seminal event. I thank both the Ministers as well as Prof. Gamzu, who has supported us throughout this journey. I was involved in the commission that reviewed the gaps between the center and periphery of the country and would like to mention other areas that should be strengthened, such as schools, roads and factories, all of which will encourage a quality population to settle in the Galilee, including physicians and medical staff."

Finance Minister Yair Lapid stated at the press conference at the Ziv Medical Center: "Hospitals in the periphery provide care to a geographically significant wide scope of residents. This is why it is so important to put Ziv Medical Center, as well as other hospitals in the periphery, in the forefront for equipment and medical devices."

The Treasury's budget for the health care system includes:
360 million NIS will be transferred to strengthen the financial stability of the Health Funds (90 million NIS per fund) and 60 million NIS to support the Health Funds for dental care.

Additionally, 150 million NIS will be allocated to the infrastructure and technology as follows:
1. 45 million NIS for purchasing of MRI machines in peripheral hospitals, to increase their   availability to residents of the periphery.
2. 40 million NIS to complete the national project for protective hospitalization in the north for emergency situations (Rambam).
3. 15 million NIS for purchasing a linear accelerator at the Ziv Medical Center that will provide radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients, which is not available now north of Haifa.
4. 20 million NIS for the development project for national information as part of the preparation for the government health care "Digitalizing Israel" project, enabling information exchange between hospitals and Health Care Funds.
5. 10 million NIS for strengthening the emergency medical centers, according to the plan set out for 2014.
6. 20 million NIS for equipping hospitals in general in accordance with the 2014 plan.