Health care gaps in Israel have grown to alarming levels. Particularly concerning are the gaps in care and status between the north and center of the country. The first annual Galilee Conference on Health Equality, organized by Shatil’s Arab-Jewish Citizens’ Forum for the Promotion of Health in the Galilee, worked to address these gaps.
Some 160 Jewish and Arab mayors, doctors, medical school professors, and other health workers and activists attended, giving a push to Shatil’s efforts on this front. The conference was hosted by Ma’alot-Tarshiha Mayor Shlomo Bohbot.
Or Ilan, director of the Interior Ministry’s northern branch, set the tone for the conference when he said, “Here in the north we have nice views and clean air, but we pay for it with six years less life expectancy.”
He promised his office would make health matters a high priority.
Prof. Itamar Grotto, head of a government committee tasked with expanding services to the north, told participants, “The question isn’t whether to expand health services in the north but how.”
The Arab-Jewish Citizens’ Forum for the Promotion of Health in the Galilee, comprised of graduates of Shatil’s health equality trainings, continues to advocate for equal services to residents of the north, half of whom are Arab and many of whom are poor.