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Israel News

Mental health programs frozen due to lack of state budget

CM 12/04/2021

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Mental health programs meant for medical staff and patients are not being carried out due to the lack of a state budget created by the ongoing political crisis, according to Kan Reshet Bet radio.

The programs affected include programs worth about NIS 150,000 for providing mental healthcare to medical staff who worked in coronavirus wards.
Donor have agreed to provide a budget for the programs if the government also contributed, but have announced that they will withdraw their support from the programs soon. 
The Finance Ministry said that a number of mental health programs have been budgeted as part of dealing with the coronavirus, reaching about NIS 66 million in funds. The Israel Psychiatric Association has requested a budget of over half a billion shekels for assistance in mental health services, according to KAN Reshet Bet.
Budget issues have plagued social services amid the ongoing political crisis, especially amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Dozens of complementary education programs for at-risk youth and youth living in the periphery faced closures last year due to a lack of government funding as Blue and White and Likud clashed over the state budget. A solution was eventually found to keep the programs open after a series of large protests.
Budget conflicts have also affected other parts of the coronavirus crisis response, with vaccine shipments held up in recent weeks by Pfizer after the government failed to meet to agree on a budget to pay the company.

Director-General of the Alternate Prime Minister’s Office Hod Betzer is expected to meet with Finance Minister Israel Katz later on Monday in order to find a solution concerning the lack of a budget for the purchase of additional vaccines.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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