Discrimination against Palestinian Workers Injured In Work Accidents
On 2.2.2021, ACRI joined with Kav LaOved in petitioning to the High Court against the National Insurance Institute. We demanded that the Institute covers all medical expenses for Palestinians injured in work accidents from the moment of injury, just as is done for Israeli workers. Further, that the coverage will not be conditional upon recognition of the injury as a result of a work accident.
Palestinian workers in Israel are the only group of workers expected to independently finance their own medical and rehabilitation treatments in the period between the moment of work injury and until the moment the injury is recognized as the result of a work accident. Israeli workers, unlike Palestinian workers, are insured by law in the Israeli HMOs, who ensure a consistent treatment. Migrant workers are insured by private insurance, which covers any necessary treatments in the case of injury.
Palestinian workers are not eligible for Israeli health insurance, and pay out-of-pocket for health insurance from the Palestinian Authority. This insurance does not include injuries caused while working in Israel. As of now, the standard practice is that injured workers are reimbursed for their medical expenses after the fact, once the injury is established as a work accident, months following the event. Thus, during the most critical time for treating the injury, and the time in which the person is unable to work, they are expected to spend exuberant amounts of money out-of-pocket for medical treatments, or alternatively forego the treatments and rehabilitation for lack of ability to pay.
In the petition, we argued that the present situation violates the rights to health, respect, equality, property and privacy of Palestinian workers who were injured in work accidents in Israel and the settlements, and discriminates against them in comparison to other workers in Israel - both Israelis and migrants.
For further information (Hebrew)