At the last cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced his decision to prepare for future waves of illness in the Corona, through the establishment of a NIS 10 billion security, economic and medical network. If we are dealing with disease prevention, here are some other data that are in the basements of the Ministry of Health and are not exposed to the public, dealing with the areas of medical malpractice victims and medical errors in Israel.

The number of the latter stands at an average of about 10,000 in recent years. While in the prevention of future mortality from the corona ten billion shekels are currently invested, in the prevention of future victims from the silent killer of medical malpractice and medical errors, only NIS 700,000 a year is invested in the Ministry of Health.

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Dreamed it here

Just to clear the ear – the mortality rate and morbidity due to errors in diagnosis and treatment and acquired infections is about 251,000 deaths in the US which constitute 0.7% of hospitalizations, while in Israel it stands at about 10,000 cases per year which constitute 0.9% of hospitalizations.

All the countries of the advanced world have already realized that investing in promoting safety and quality of care and preventing short-term malpractice and mistakes saves both life and money in the long run. It seems that in Israel in light of the fact that there is no public relations for future victims, it is not really interesting to anyone.

How are the following casualties prevented? | Photo: Yossi Aloni, Flash 90

A flashing red light that hits us all

No less shocking to look at the financial numbers. The Ministry of Health estimates that the expenses for handling damages in medical malpractice claims are estimated at NIS 3 billion a year, but not even a quarter of a percent is invested in prevention, in a country where everyone wants to cut films here and now. In 2021, all projects to promote safety were canceled at the Ministry of Health due to a lack of budget, while at the same time the Ministry of Health did not meet the standard of the various units in the ministry. A standard he himself set. How do you spell a dream in Jerusalem?

For example, it is lying like a stone that has not been turned into a national plan for safety indices that has been approved by all the professionals in the ministry, but no effort has yet been found to take care of the 2.5 million shekels it costs. The law to “remove the commission from the Ministry of Health” so that doctors do not question doctors and a life-saving deterrent is created, is opposed by “Save me – and I will save you.” The existing budget also does not allow for the establishment of projects and certainly not a systemic capability that will allow for continuous and continuous learning from its accumulated experience, in order to produce a professional risk assessment for possible failures, which will effectively prevent the next casualties.

Although I am not a mathematician, I still have a hard time understanding the relationship between the financial investment in the various areas of preventive maintenance in health and medical matters, and the number of casualties. How is it possible that only hundreds of thousands of shekels are invested in the flashing red light of ten thousand injured each year, while ten billion is invested in estimates for future epidemics. The next casualties of the health care system are already here.

Amiad Taub is the chairman of Ofek Back to Life and deputy mayor of Modiin Maccabim Reut

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