The Ministry of Health has secured two deals to replenish Israel’s inventory of epidural anesthesia kits, averting concerns over shortages of anesthesia commonly administered during childbirth.
The Israeli Midwives Association confirmed the news, issuing a statement saying there were “no shortages and no expected shortages” of the kits.
The Ministry of Health has contracts with several other epidural supplies, according to the organization. “
News of a possible shortage broke a month ago, leaving some pregnant women worried about the possibility of giving birth without the epidural option.
Health officials quickly jumped to allay their concerns, pointing out that the country still had months of stocks of the drug, giving it time to find new sources.
Health Department Executive Director Nachman Ash said last month that there was no need to worry about the issue.
“At the moment we can say that there is no shortage, there is enough in all hospitals. [epidural] There will be no shortage of kits in the coming weeks,” Ash told the Ynet news site.
Ash said epidurals were a “basic service” provided by hospitals and were used primarily for women in labour, but they are also used in other medical situations.
The ministry’s secretary-general also said lessons need to be learned about relying heavily on one supplier for health services.
“The question arises of how to manage the market. [for Israel] Don’t let it fall into the hands of one company. We want the market to be more evenly divided among more companies,” he said.