PMs will have to disclose health matters to the public

Tuesday, January 09, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
The Prime Minister’s office is currently formulating a new procedure which will allow public monitoring of the health status of all Israeli prime ministers.

According to the new procedure, every prime minister who will enter office, will have to sign a waiver where he or she will be obligated to act according to the recommendations of the medical staff and allows for the medical information to be released to the public.

The need for this procedure arose after the sudden hospitalization of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which raised questions regarding the medical treatment he received and the information which was released to the public about his medical condition.

The procedure is being formulated by the legal advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office Shulamit Barnea in coordination with the Director General of the PM’s Office Raanan Dinur, the Director General of the Health Ministry, and the Personnel Protection Unit of the Shin Bet.

According to the procedure, a senior doctor will be appointed as the chief caretaker of the prime minister’s health. He will operate under supervision of a public committee of independent expert doctors which will assist the chief doctor and advise him on different medical issues regarding the prime minister. The doctor and the committee will also consult with the prime minister how to keep healthy.

Upon entering the post, the prime minister will sign a waiver, obligating him to act according to the recommendation of his medical staff.

The procedure will also give the committee the authority to publish information regarding the health status of the prime minister, while keeping a balance between the public’s right to know, and the prime minister’s right to privacy.

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