Despite the Israeli government’s promise to provide grants for medical residents who choose to complete their residency in hospitals in the Negev and Galilee until 2020, MK Orly Levy discovered that these incentives are going to be canceled as of next year.

Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba

Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba Photo Credit: Flash 90 / Channel 2 News

In 2011, the Israeli government promised a grant of 300 thousand shekels for medical residents who would choose to complete their residency in Israel’s periphery in order to strengthen the health systems in the Negev and Galilee. The grant was promised until 2020 – but now it has been revealed that it is about to be canceled.

The grant was supposed to be given to residents at hospitals such as Ziv Medical Center in Safed, Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias and Yoseftal Medical Center in Eilat. But despite the government’s promise, it looks like the transfer of funds will be halted next year and the issue is not included in the new state budget.

MK Orly Levy was the one who discovered the government’s intention to cancel the grant and has already spoken to Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and requested that he cancel the decree and live up to the government’s promises. “Not only is there a dire lack of medical interns in the periphery, but the life expectancy of periphery residents is shorter than that of residents of central Israel,” Levy explained. “Infant mortality in the periphery is almost double that of central Israel.”

“In recent years, we have made efforts to provide incentives for medical residents that are interested in living and working in the periphery, so it is unclear why Minister Kahlon has chosen to cancel these incentives in the upcoming budget,” stated Dr. Erel Buchinsky, Chairman of the organization of medical residents in Israel. “If the budget were to pass without these incentives, we would have no choice but to infer that this government, which constantly talks about the periphery, is neglecting its residents and their health systems.”