After 18 years of providing government-subsidised medical insurance for children of undocumented migrants, the Israeli Ministry of Health (MOH) decided in 2018 to abruptly reverse its policy. Many children will have access to medical care only in cases of emergency. The policy change is set to potentially impact several thousands of children currently living or born in Israel. The non-profit, humanitarian sector is already seeing the impact on undocumented migrant children, with dozens of families reaching out to Physicians for Human Rights Israel to seek help accessing care for their children. These policy changes seem to be politically motivated, aiming to exclude undocumented communities from the public healthcare system as part of a general strategy of encouraging them to leave Israel. Such actions are antithetical to public health, human rights and medical ethics considerations. The Israeli Medical Association is beginning to challenge the stance of the MOH. To conform to international guidelines - both legal and medical - government ministries and relevant official bodies must follow the advice of the medical community to ensure respect for the right to health.
- children's rights