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  • ACRI

Implementation of Psychiatric Hospital Screening Fee

It was recently reported that the Ministry of Health intends to impose a fee on emergency room visits to psychiatric hospitals, similar to the fee existing in general hospitals. Together with Bizchut – the Center for Human Rights of People with Disabilities and Physicians for Human Rights, we sent legal correspondence (Hebrew) to the Health Committee and opposed the imposition of the fee. We argued that it would severely harm the health of the patients, endanger their lives, and lead to an increase of forced hospitalizations.

In the correspondence, Dr. Saragosti of Bizchut explained that unlike the general health system, the mental health system currently does not have any services that provide an urgent response. Therefore, in most situations the only address to which one can turn when there is an immediate and urgent mental health response is the psychiatric hospital emergency room. People dealing with psychiatric diagnoses and emergencies are already hesitant to go to the psychiatric emergency room and fearing that they will also have to pay for the emergency room visit will be an additional barrier to seeking treatment. Failure to seek timely treatment leads, in many situations, to a deterioration in a person's condition. As a result, there is concern that involuntary hospitalizations will only increase, and many people will end up in life-threatening situations.

Instead of imposing a fee for emergency rooms in psychiatric hospitals, we called on the Ministry of Health to require the health funds to develop psychiatric responses at the emergency centers they operate, and to significantly expand other responses in the community.


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