Israel to Boost 2005 Public Health Drug Spending
Israel's cabinet has approved a significant boost to this year's health spending, endorsing a proposal to increase the "basket" of services provided under the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme by NIS150mn (US$34.62mn) in 2005. NHI is focused on the provision of essential drugs to the country's lower income groups.
The government also earlier approved a NIS200mn (US$46.17mn) increase, bringing this year's overall rise to NIS350mn (US$80.78mn). Officials have suggested that the extra spending will be financed by cuts to the defence budget, although it is unclear how the government will finance the remaining increase.
Nevertheless, although the increase will boost the general level of public
access to healthcare, it should be noted that Israel's healthcare market is
dominated by institutions, with the mainly private healthcare and sick funds
accounting for more than 80% of sales.