Despite the promises, the bills keep coming

By Orly Vilnai

Shalom Vidar, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor, weighed 31 kilograms when he was first hospitalized at a geriatric hospital. Vidar was in serious condition. Because of his various illnesses he required full-time medical attention, including a permanent feeding tube.

The Health Ministry considers this complex nursing care. A patient of this kind, unlike a patient who requires “regular” nursing care, needs more than help from family members or caregivers; he has to be hospitalized.

However, there is another factor for complex care patients: The hospitalization is the responsibility of the health maintenance organization, but the patient and his family have to pay for it. A day’s hospitalization costs NIS 97 – and the health ministry does not contribute even one shekel.