(March 29, 2019 / JNS) Israel’s government has announced that it will release funds allocated for Magen David Adom to provide enhanced emergency medical services in Judea and Samaria.
“Years ago, because of heightened concerns about security and the distances between communities in Yesha, the Israeli government asked MDA to provide enhanced services in Judea and Samaria to allocate resources greater than what would normally be provided for an area with 400,000 Israelis,” explained Ronen Bashari, MDA’s head of operations.
“Despite that we were providing services there each year at a cost to us of 13.6 million shekels [about $3.8 million], our reimbursements from the government have dwindled to 7.5 million shekels [about $2.5 million] a year,” said Bashari.
“Our services there will [now] be fully funded for 2019, easing the financial pressure Magen David Adom has been under while we’ve continued to fully provide EMS services,” he said.
As a stop-gap measure, MDA had proposed reallocating resources in Judea and Samaria to save money, while still providing the same level of service. But the proposal would have put an additional workload on MDA’s volunteer EMTs and called for dispatching more ambulances from their homes to reduce the hours of operation, as well as the costs associated with that, of MDA’s 17 emergency medical stations there.
“We are committed to the health and safety of Israelis in Judea and Samaria,” said Bashari, “just as we are committed to the health of all of Israel’s citizens. So we are delighted with this decision.”