According to the Ministry of Health, about 30% of Israelis are obese. Israel's Ministry of Health wants to cut tariffs for hospitals that perform gastric bypass surgery. Leading experts warn the ministry against this move – such a policy, in their opinion, will hurt the fight against obesity and lead to dating of bariatric surgeries.
The ministries of health and finance intend to reduce the number of bariatric surgeries paid by health insurance funds to public hospitals country, by about 50%, and also to reduce the additional insurance of private hospitals.
This issue is currently being discussed by the ministries in the joint pricing committee.
The Ministry of Health has submitted a proposal to reduce the number of surgeries, saying that for hospitals, these are operations with a “ high cost-benefit ''.
Bariatric surgeries lead to successful weight loss of about 7,000 Israelis a year. The cost of obesity treatment for the health care system and all government agencies is estimated at about 20 billion shekels per year.
This week, leaders of the Association of Surgeons of the Association wrote to the Ministry of Health that bariatric surgery brings, in addition to desired weight loss, relief to problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer. These operations are performed only after the approval of special committees in hospitals. Thus, only eligible patients are operated on, eliminating the possibility that patients will only be operated on in a cost-effective manner.
Surgeons also wrote that reducing the number of surgeries would harm those who need government medicine. The reduction in the number of operations in general will cause a significant and targeted reduction in the number of operations in public hospitals, despite the increase in the number of patients required for them. This move will lead to polarization and inequality between those who have the means and private insurance, and those who depend on the state system, the doctors said in the appeal.
The statement was signed by the chairman of the Association of Surgeons, Professor Yoram Kluger and the chairman of the Bariatric Surgery Society of the Surgical Association by Dr. Nasser Sakaran.
Dr. Dror Diker, Chairman of the Israel Obesity Association of the Medical Association and one of the country's leading experts in the fight against obesity, also warned the Ministry of Health of the implications of reducing the number of surgeries … “ There is no similar tool in terms of effectiveness in reducing mortality and morbidity among obese people, '' he said.