NEW YORK (Feb. 2)
Bernard B, Jacobson, executive vice-president of the National Committee for Labor Israel told the 600 delegates attending-the annual mid-winter conference at the Waldorf-Astoria yesterday that the group had raised $1.5 million toward the 1976 goal of $5 million. Pointing to the serious economic situation in Israel that forced curtailment of many welfare and educational programs. Jacobson stressed that Histadrut “was bent on preserving the quality of life” in Israel by aiding the low-income families, primarily the new immigrants.
Dr. Chaim R. Doron, professor of community medicine at Tel Aviv University and medical director of Kupat Holim, Israel’s national insurance agency, reported that with a 1976-77 budget of IL 2.2 billion (approximately $700 million), Kupat Holim will face a deficit of IL 680 million. He stated that this gap is due to Israel’s financial situation, which has led to reduction of the government subsidies for hospital beds, and the difficulty of imposing higher dues on the workers.
“Nevertheless,” Dr. Doron declared. “We are going ahead with construction of vital facilities. A new Kupat Holim hospital, costing $20 million, will open on Mount Carmel. Haifa, in October. Kupat Holim is also building its first hospital inside Tel Aviv, and is expanding its 650-bed hospital in Beersheba to 1000 beds.” Other facilities are going up in outlying development towns in Galilee and the Negev, far from the metropolitan centers.
Dr. Judah J. Shapiro, president of the National Committee for Labor Israel, warned the conference that “the global disturbance which creates pressures on Israel must not distract us from those traditional responsibilities to Israel which will help the country to advance up the ladder of social progress and justice. It is our obligation to assist Israel in fulfilling her social ideals.” The conference saluted the Labor Zionist Alliance on the occasion of its 70th anniversary, and Pioneer Women on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.