"We are not neglecting – neither as a result of our security responsibility nor of our economic responsibility – anything regarding our responsibility to implement social reform in the State of Israel."
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, August 28, 2011):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Last week an agreement was signed with the Israel Medical Association. This is a revolutionary agreement for the health system in Israel. It is good news for residents, doctors and the periphery. There will be an additional 1,000 medical residents. This is in addition to the 1,000 beds that we have added after almost a decade in which no beds were added. There will also be salary supplements of an average of 49%, grants for doctors who move to the periphery, less shifts, less hours per shift – this is a revolutionary agreement.
I would like to commend Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen and IMA Chairman Dr. Leonid Idelman, who withstood complex tests. I admire his leadership in signing this agreement. I also commend Finance Ministry Wage Director Ilan Levin and Moshe Bar-Simantov from the Finance Ministry Budget Division. I would like to also commend Prof. Yitzhak Peterburg for his assistance in bridging the gaps.
This agreement is an additional step in a series of socio-economic steps that this Government has taken in various fields in order to improve Israeli society and reduce gaps. First of all, in higher education, the Government has adopted a major reform that gives students and the Israeli people tools to fully develop the intellectual abilities necessary in a modern country. This is in addition to two reforms, one of which has already been adopted and implemented, Ofek Hadash, and one of which will be implemented upon the start of the new academic year, Oz L’tmura.
This is an opportunity to wish a successful school year to the two million students in Israel who will begin their studies this week. They are starting under better conditions, with schools on the periphery that have computers and in the wake of the basic reforms that will improve results.
The socioeconomic steps are also drawing the periphery closer: There are the dramatic steps that we are taking in transportation infrastructure, the free dental care that we are giving to Israeli children, the lowering of cellular telephone costs, and the 45,000 new housing starts that are influencing the construction market – we would like them to exert greater influence. We also have plans to do much more with the major reforms that we have enacted at the Israel Land Authority and the national building committees. To all of these may be added major actions in the social sphere. But we still have other challenges. One is to deal with the complicated security problems that stem from the changes that are taking place in the region, and we are dealing with them, but at the same time there is a very challenging international-economic situation and we are dealing with it as well.
We are not neglecting – neither as a result of our security responsibility nor of our economic responsibility – anything regarding our responsibility to implement social reform in the State of Israel. We are doing this. The Trajtenberg Committee is working with all due urgency. It will submit its recommendations to us next month. This is a very serious committee and we are talking about serious and responsible steps. These will not be small steps, but major ones and will be submitted to the Socio-Economic Cabinet in the coming weeks. Ours is a genuine commitment to social reform and the reform we are talking about is both genuine and serious."
2. The Cabinet appointed Yoaz Hendel as head of the National Information Directorate, effective 4 September 2011.
The Cabinet appointed Naor Gilaon as Ambassador to Italy, non-resident Ambassador to San Marino and Permanent Representative to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization.
The Cabinet appointed Eli Groner as Economic Attache in Washington.
3. Education Minister Gideon Saar briefed ministers on preparations for the opening of the 2011-2012 school year.
4. The Cabinet today approved a plan to establish a NIS 600,000 horseback riding and bicycle sports park in the lower Galilee.
5. The Cabinet discussed and approved the continuation of financial assistance to working, student and unemployed mothers for daycare facilities for residents of the confrontation line in the north.
6. The Cabinet approved the continuation of financial assistance for daycare facilities for families among the evacuees from Gush Katif and northern Samaria.