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Economic Crisis Hits Kupat Holim

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Kupat Holim, Israel’s largest sick-fund and health network, which is owned and operated by the Histadrut, is facing difficulties as a result of the deepening economic crisis in the country, Prof. Chaim Doron, chairman of Kupat Holim, said today.

Doron, speaking at a lunchon for American labor leaders sponsored by the National Committee for Labor Israel, said that the performance of Kupat Holim might be affected by the proposed cut in the Health Ministry allocation to Kupat Holim’s budget of $727 million.

Doron said that the government currently provides II percent of Kupat Holim’s annual budget but it wants to reduce its share in the budget to under 10 percent.

“This cut will have a severe impact on Kupat Holim,” Doron said, adding that as a result Kupat Holim will have to raise the monthly dues of its members. He said that currently, each member pays about five percent of his or her salary as membership dues each month. He said that members’ dues amount to 20 percent of Kupat Holim’s budget while the employers pay 46 percent of the overall budget.

But Doron, who is here for a three-day visit, said he hopes the budget cut will not have an impact on Kupat Holim’s services to its members. According to Doron, Kupat Holim is trying to reduce its costs by cutting down on unneeded hospitalization and by decreasing the number of its employees.

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