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Meretz threatening not to support budget over funds for health minister

CM 31/07/2021

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Meretz is threatening not to support the state budget due to a conflict over funds for the Health Ministry which Meretz chairman and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz says are insufficient to keep hospitals running.
The health minister is reportedly demanding an extra NIS 1 billion from the Finance Ministry, which the latter is saying is not feasible, according to Channel 13 News.
The Finance Ministry will present a draft of the budget and Economic Arrangements Law to the cabinet on Sunday for the cabinet to vote, with its approval needed by Thursday before the Knesset goes on summer recess.
If the budget is not passed by November 4, the Knesset will be automatically dissolved and new elections called.
Horowitz discussed the issue with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and told them that under the current circumstances, and without the extra funds for the Health Ministry, he would not support the state budget, since he said hospitals faced collapse due to underfunding.

Speaking to Channel 12 News on Friday, Horowitz said the health system is being choked, decrying the state of patient care.
“Internal departments are packed full, there is nothing more important than the health budget, and the finance minister and the prime minister need to understand that,” said the Meretz leader.
At the beginning of last week, Horowitz was warning that his party would not support the budget without extra funding for the Health Ministry.
“If we do not arrive at agreements for strengthening the system at a foundational level for several years forward there will be a very big crisis and we won’t be able to pass the budget,” Horowitz said.
“The health system is on life-support and needs oxygen badly, we cannot continue like this. There is no progress with the Finance Ministry in relation to the funding of the health system. The budget department is trying to ignore the government’s basic principles which established clear standards for strengthening the system.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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