MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman did not allow researchers at either of Israel's two dental schools to conduct objective research to see if the program, meant to benefit primarily poor haredi kids, actually improved children’s dental health.
Above: MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman
Dr. Professor Yael Houri-Haddad, chair of oral rehabilitation at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem, writes in the Jerusalem Post:
…the program initiated by then-deputy health minister ([of the Ashkenazi haredi] United Torah Judaism [Party]) MK [Rabbi] Ya’acov Litzman to provide basic dental care to children. The cheap remuneration per child, says Houri-Haddad, induces many health fund dentists to “over-treat” so they can charge extra for dental care not included in the basic basket. As private pediatric dental specialists were kept out of the program because they are more expensive, some have gone out of business, she continues. In addition, she says, Litzman did not allow researchers at either of [Israel's two] dental schools to conduct objective research and find out if the program was successful in improving children’s dental health, even though such a study was offered by the Jerusalem dental school.
“Litzman worried only about getting credit from his own sector of ultra-Orthodox Jews, but it did not necessarily serve them as it should. There could be better ways to spend the tens of millions of shekels each year,” she adds.…