September 10, 2008

Childcare Cuts Hurting Disease Prevention


The curtailment of state funds for well-baby (tipat halav) clinics has reduced the quality of their services and reputations and even aroused accusations that Israel has unintentionally "exported" measles to the US because vaccination rates have declined.

These were the charges levelled by Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, director of the Israel Council for the Child, in a letter to Health Minister Ya'acov Ben-Yizri.

Many countries do not allow unvaccinated children to be admitted to study in schools, said Kadman, but in Israel there is no such restriction. The lack of nurses for vaccinations and the need for organizational changes in public health, along with the new "fashion" of keeping children away from tipat halav clinics, will bring about a continuing decline in the health of Israel's children, the child welfare watchdog said. Kadman called on the government to immediately add NIS 120 million to increase manpower and other needs in the country's well-baby clinics.

Originally published by JUDY SIEGEL.

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