Allow Residents of Remote Towns to Access Health Services in all Health Funds
On October 24, 2023, we appealed (Hebrew) to the Minister of Health and the Director-General of the Ministry of Health, on behalf of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Civil Forum for Health Advancement in the Galilee, and the Coalition of Health Organizations in the Negev. We asked to enable residents from southern and northern towns, where limited activities have been announced, to receive health services from any health fund available and accessible to them, regardless of the health fund (the "Unified Fund" model). We requested this to apply to all residents living in these areas—whether they relocated, volunteered, or stayed in their homes.
In the appeal, we noted that there have been sporadic reports of health services and medical treatment being provided to evacuees in all health funds, regardless of the health membership. However, such a critical issue should not be left to the discretion of each fund, town, or council. Instead, it should be based on regulations and facilitated by the Director-General. Attorney Tal Hasin of ACRI wrote, "Countless traumatized and anxious individuals, injured and in pain, many of whom lost family members and relatives, as well as patients and the elderly who require regular medical care, have been displaced from their homes. Many others continue to reside in high-risk areas. It is essential to ensure they are treated wherever they arrive and that they are not forced to wander and drown in bureaucracy and piles of forms in search of necessary health and medical services."