Ukrainian refugees health insurance crisis shows signs of solution

Science and Health

In a recent development, the health insurance predicament faced by Ukrainian refugees in Israel is on the verge of being resolved.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dimitri Kuleba confirmed in a tweet on Monday, “I’ve had a conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who assured me that health insurance for Ukrainians in Israel will remain in effect and that the issue will be swiftly resolved.”

Minister Kuleba expressed his gratitude, highlighting that his Israeli counterpart is personally overseeing the matter and that their discussions spanned a broader bilateral agenda.

Is the Ukrainian refugee health service crisis being resolved?

Last week, an announcement stirred controversy, revealing that Ukrainian refugees who arrived in Israel following the outbreak of the conflict with Russia approximately a year and a half ago would no longer have access to health services due to the expiration of their medical insurance. The decision drew sharp criticism from the Ukrainian ambassador to Israel.

Rabbi Moshe Azman, chief rabbi of Ukraine, welcomed the positive turn of events, stating, “On behalf of the Jewish community, I express my gratitude to my dear friend, the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs Eli Cohen, who took personal initiative to address the issue, as he informed me during our conversation last week. There exists no act more humanitarian than aiding war refugees during their trying times and easing their burdens. For over a year, their suffering has been mitigated. The foreign minister once again demonstrated his unwavering friendship towards Ukraine and the Jewish community within it.”

Ukrainian refugees are seen arriving in Israel as part of Operation Israeli Guarantee, on March 6, 2022. (credit: Sraya Diamant/GPO)

About 14,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Israel since the onset of the war are currently ineligible to receive health services, according to a report by Ynet last week.

Their medical insurance has lapsed because the Finance Ministry has not renewed its validity, according to the report.

“Some hospitals have already been informed that the ongoing treatment for these refugees will be unfunded. Insiders have described this situation as a ‘major humanitarian crisis,'” the report stated.

On Thursday, the Ukrainian ambassador slammed Israel for terminating health insurance coverage for Ukrainian refugees. “Not only did the Israeli government refuse to sell Ukraine protective measures… Israel also stopped medical aid to refugees who fled to Israel from a threat of brutal killing at the hands of the Russians,” Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Yevgen Korniychuk said in a statement on Thursday.