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PM Netanyahu Challenges The HMO’s

bibis.jpgSeeking to cut government spending, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called on the administrators of the nation’s kupot cholim (HMOs) to report on their profit margin regarding state-subsidized pharmaceuticals. The prime minister explained the national government spends NIS 6 billion annually to subsidize many drugs included in the national health basket.

He added that the HMOs purchased the drugs in large quantity and therefore, they enjoy sizable discounts. He wants to know how much they are profiting between their cost price and the subsidized government payment; certain he can save the national government NIS tens of millions annually.

In his capacity as health minister, the prime minister indicated he is unwilling to continue with the long-accepted status-quo where the government continues paying bills without an explanation, since he is certain the HMOs are turning a handsome profit at the national government’s expense.

Applauding the move was Deputy Health Minister R’ Yaakov Litzman, who stated Mr. Netanyahu is bold enough to venture into this area, one which his predecessors were unwilling to probe. Litzman stated previous ministers feared such a probe would “open a Pandora’s box” and they opted to permit the long-standing arrangement to continue without challenging it.

The prime minister is demanding total transparency, calling upon the nation’s healthcare providers to step forward and provide the figures to provide a comprehensive picture regarding the cost of pharmaceuticals.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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