Despite the newly reformed and expedited process for Israeli patients to receive a medical marijuana license, those living in the south will remain without easy access since none of the recently certified physicians practice south of Gadera. The Israeli Health Ministry responded stating that only once all of the HMOs adopt the process, will there be more trained and certified doctors.

Israel stands as a leader in medical marjiuana

Israel stands as a leader in medical marjiuana Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Over a month ago, the Israeli Health Ministry trained and certified 100 new doctors throughout Israel to prescribe medical marijuana licenses in a step towards shortening the bureaucratic process and save patients time and money. However, it appears that not one of these newly certified doctors is located south of Gadera, making it difficult for southern residents to gain access to medical marijuana.

The Israeli Ministry of Health said in response that “Israel is a leader in its use of cannabis for medical purposes. Just a month ago, a course ended in which the Ministry of Health trained dozens of physicians who have been given the license to prescribe a medical marijuana. The doctor’s geographic spread will improve in the near future as the HMOs adopt the subject and open additional courses and medical training.”

As previously reported by JOL, receiving a prescribed medical marijuana license required a complicated bureaucratic process where only after seeing a specialist, would the request be made for Deputy Director of the Israeli Health Ministry’s Medical Cannabis Unit Dr. Michael Dor to sign the licenses.

The cumbersome process had many implications for patients, including economic repercussions. In the past, patients needed to wait a long time, sometimes even over a year, to receive an appointment with a specialist at a pain clinic. Those who did not want to or could not wait could pay 1,400 NIS to go to a private clinic. However as of tomorrow, newly certified doctors will be able to prescribe a license at a fixed cost of 250 NIS, without any specialists’ recommendation or committee’s approval.