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Anyone want to be health minister?

April 06, 2009 13:31

Yedioth Achronoth had an interview yesterday with Dror Kendelstein, the most seriously injured soldier in the Second Lebanon War, who has just returned home after two years and eight months in hospital. Dror, an engineering corps reservist, was in a coma for seven months after suffering multiple gunshot and shrapnel wounds in a battle near Bint Jbeil.

It might be nice for Dror, who has sacrificed so much for his country, to receive a home visit from the new health minister – except that, to date, no-one heads the third largest ministry in the government.

I was brought up to believe that you can cope with most things life throws at you, “as long as you’ve got your health”. Sadly, everything else apart from health seems to matter to members of the new coalition.

United Torah Judaism’s Yaakov Litzman is awaiting the Gerrer Rebbe’s permission to accept the post of deputy health minister – UTJ’s Knesset members do not participate fully in parliamentary matters on ideological grounds – and Bibi gave in to this condition in order to bring UTJ into the coalition. However, failing to appoint a health minister, and only naming a deputy health minister, is "illegal and unreasonable," according to the Israel Medical Association, which has petitioned the High Court of Justice against the prime minister, the attorney general and the entire government.

Dror Kendelstein still has serious injuries and remains in a wheelchair. Asked if he is angry about what happened to him, he replied that he hasn’t the energy for anger; he needs all his strength to achieve his goal of walking again and trying to resume his life before it was so abruptly put on hold. (He was injured a few weeks before he was due to begin studying at university.)

Countless people have been very seriously injured in this country as a result of wars and terrorism, and it is a testament to the dedication of our health professionals that so many are able to recover even partially. What a disgrace that the job of health minister, which is so vital these days to protect our healthcare system, remains vacant.

April 06, 2009 13:31

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