The Israeli Cabinet has approved the allocation of 180 million shekels ($40 million) to prepare for the possibility of an avian flu epidemic. The money would be used to purchase the antiviral drug Tamiflu, the only medicine available to treat avian flu. Another 30 million shekels ($6.6 million) has been allocated for an information campaign and hospital equipment. It’s a big expense at a time of major budget cuts, and it’s not clear who will pay. Neither the Health nor the Agriculture Ministries want all the money taken out of their already tight budgets.
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