The Knesset Health Committee will hold a special discussion tomorrow (Tuesday) following Israel Today's exposures of Health Ministry Director General Prof. Nachman Ash's approval of Clalit Health Fund, according to which oncologists can give cancer patients reduced doses of expensive drugs budgeted in the basket.
This is a contrary to the recommendations of a professional committee set up by the Ministry of Health itself, to the registration of the drug in the ministry, as well as to the doses listed in the drug basket.
Senior oncologists in Israel are also harshly critical of the decision.
The discussion will take place today following the request of MK Etty Atia (Likud) to hold a quick discussion in the Health Committee and to summon the Director General of the Ministry of Health and senior members of Clalit Health Fund for discussion, "to give answers to the decision to reduce the dose of oncology drugs "A scandal, which is being opposed by senior doctors, has warned that this is a serious injury to patients."
As you may recall, about two weeks ago, it was revealed in "Israel Today" that senior oncologists are warning and raising serious allegations, according to which Prof. Ash's new and unprecedented approval of the Clalit Health Fund allows it to dictate its new policy to doctors.
Prof. Nachman Ash, Photo: Yehuda Peretz
In fact, Clalit Health Fund has decided to give lung and skin cancer patients a reduced dose from the regular dose, which is included in the legal approval of these drugs in Israel.
Following the exposure, the chairman of the Israeli Oncology Association at the Medical Association, Prof. Gil Bar-Sela, criticized the director general of the Ministry of Health in a letter he wrote about a week ago.
According to him, "the approval allows economic considerations to be included in the basket of considerations in determining the dosages of the drugs."
Prof. Bar-Sela noted that "the attending physician is the body responsible for the treatment given to patients, while the insuring entity (ie: the HMO, RR) does not constitute medical authority." "As recorded in the Ministry of Health, and when there are several registered doses, each of them can be used according to the professional judgment of the attending physician."
New and controversial approval
The new and controversial approval of the director general of the Ministry of Health was made after lengthy discussions at the top of the ministry. Clalit's news that the Ministry of Health is now approving and backing up could severely hurt the chances of a cure and recovery for thousands of cancer patients.
On the contrary, they claim that this will lead to serious mistakes in medical treatment, and that patients have already been discriminated against in front of the other three health funds and that their rights have been severely violated.
Clalit Health Insurance Fund, photographs have nothing to do with the news, Photo: Yehoshua-Yosef
General instructions refer to three immunotherapeutic drugs (Citroda from MSD, Opdivo from BMS and Avenzio, which imports Pfizer to Israel), which are given by infusion and help the body's immune system to attack the cancer cells.
The senior doctors' criticism of Clalit's instructions was revealed in June in Israel Today, following which the Ministry of Health set up a special committee in the National Council for the Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Malignant Diseases, which will examine the issue.
Evidence and data from about 12 doctors
The committee heard testimonies and data from about 12 doctors and specialists, and submitted its recommendations to Prof. Ash in September this year.
According to them, "the committee was not convinced that treatment guidelines should be dictated contrary to the doctor's discretion and contrary to the registration of the Ministry of Health."
Prof. Michal Lotem chaired the committee and Prof. Ron Applebaum, Dr. Einat Shaham-Shmueli and Dr. Daniel Keisman served on the committee.
The position of the special committee was also further to the position of the Admissibility Commission to the State Health Insurance Law, which is empowered to examine all public complaints about the HMOs.
The commission is headed by Adv. Nili Hayun Dickman, and in two complaints from lung cancer patients whose dose was to be reduced according to Clalit's new directive, it ruled that the fund must fund and deliver the high dose according to the doctor's requirement, based on research and medical literature. This is the only accepted registration in Israel and in the world.
However, contrary to the recommendations of the committee of the Ministry of Health and the position of the Commissioner of Public Admissibility, the director general of the ministry stated that the fund may "dictate treatment policy in the dosage regimen of the drug for lung and skin cancer." Compulsory medical treatment. "
"Serious wide-ranging consequences"
Shani Shilo, the founder and CEO of the Israeli Lung Cancer Association, also wrote to the members of the Health Committee. Ignoring the position of all professionals who oppose this policy. "
The Association for the Rights of the Patient in Israel also forwarded a detailed document to the Knesset committee, in which it warned of the serious dangers of direct harm to patients as a result of the new policy of the Ministry of Health and Clalit.
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