Earlier this week the Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved the introduction of free dental treatment for all Israeli children up to 8 years old starting July 1st. The measure was a victory for the Coalition for Public Dental Health, of which veteran NIF grantees Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Physicians for Human Rights are members. This provision will be added to the "basket" of health services provided by the government through the Health Funds.
The Israeli cabinet approved the measure last year. However, foot-dragging over the funding and an insistence to linking the plan to overall Health Fund reform have resulted in delays in implementing the program. The Coalition for Public Dental Health will continue pressuring for implementation of free dental care for all Israelis, and ensure that the program to treat Israel's children up to age 8 will be continued beyond the initial five month trial.