Following a discussion in the Israeli High Court of Justice, the Ministry of Health has been instructed to initiate a regulatory process that will remove barriers in the field of aerial medical evacuation (Medevac) that currently exist in Israel. This decision will pave the way for United Hatzalah and Lahak Aviation helicopters to be dispatched and used in the field for routine and emergency operations, a situation that has been held up for the past nine months.
The instruction came following a lengthy hearing that took place in Israel’s High Court of Justice regarding a joint petition filed by United Hatzalah and Lahak Aviation against the status quo in which the Health Ministry has designated MDA as the exclusive entity in Israel authorized to deploy helicopters in emergencies. The practical implication of the existing decision is that, for the past nine months, only MDA’s helicopters have been consistently used for medevac purposes of the general public.
During the hearing, it was clarified that the position of the Minister of Health is that he fully supports the operation of all available medevac helicopters, including those of United Hatzalah and Lahak Aviation. The Minister emphasized that all competent forces should be mobilized to conduct helicopter evacuations in medical emergencies as required.
The court’s decision stipulated that the Ministry of Health would work to regulate the field of medevac in line with the minister’s policy. The court further instructed the ministry to carry out this regulatory change within a short time frame. The exact time frame will be determined in the coming days.
“We congratulate the Ministry of Health officials and their representatives in the High Court, the Director General of the Ministry of Health, and, of course, the Minister of Health for their full commitment to the matter,” said United Hatzalah Founder and President, Eli Beer. “We appreciate the dedication of the Ministry of Health representatives and look forward to a swift resolution of the issue, advancing the shared goal of saving lives for all citizens in Israel.”
United Hatzalah and Lahak Aviation were represented by attorneys from the YTL law firm, including Moshe Teitelbaum, Uriya Luz, and Avichai Yehosef, as well as lawyers from the Firon law firm, Raz Nizri and Nadeem Abboud.