swimming pool
Israel is roling out the welcome mat for medical tourists. Why not take a dip while you're here? Photo by Daniel Ziv
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Israel smiling on medical tourism: Up to 10% of the activity at Israeli government hospitals may be devoted to medical tourism, the Health Ministry has decided. That applies to hospitals in Israel's center. Hospitals far from Israel's center, which could use a boost in revenues, get a break: up to 15% of their resources may go to treating medical tourists, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman decided. Within a hospital, any given department may devote up to 25% of its resources to foreign patients. Litzman also proposes to allow the establishment (by private enterprise) of a hospital designed solely for medical tourists, who seek healthcare outside their home nations, usually to save money.

Medigus stock surges 20% on new deal: In other medical news, Medigus stock leaped like a healthy gazelle on Wednesday, gaining 20% after the company announced European regulatory approval to start selling its advanced SRS system in Europe. So what is the SRS system? It is an innovative endoscopy system that treats heartburn, otherwise know as reflux or GERD, quite the device for stressful times. By the bye, it isn't that Medigus can start selling the thing on street corners; the processes in each nation still have to be gone through. It means to start in Germany. Medigus estimates that medical insurance will cover up to 4,500 euros on average in patient costs on using the device.

Elbit Imaging downgraded: S&P Maalot downgraded real estate investment company Elbit Imaging on Wednesday evening, by one notch to BBB. But the credit rating agency's outlook for the company controlled by Moti Zisser is negative, which means another downgrade is more likely than not. Maalot's beef is the company's climbing financial risk: to service its debts Elbit Imaging has to continue divesting properties. Meanwhile Elbit Imaging bonds are trading deep in junk territory, with yields from 23% to 45%. One problem is the company's heavy investment in the property markets of India and eastern Europe in 2007-2008, when prices were sky-high; it also made investments that haven't turned out well in medical technology and fashion.

Howdy, Alvarion: A suburb of Forth Worth, Texas, has deployed a private wireless network made by Israeli Wi-Fi company Alvarion for its community public safety system. The deal with the Cleburne authorities is worth some hundreds of thousands of dollars for Alvarion. The system is based on its BreezeMax Vehicular mobile units, installed in police cars, that communicate with BreezeMax Extreme base stations. The whole system operates on a secure frequency. In other words, the police can do their work secure in the knowledge that they can communicate.

Kardan will meet its liabilities, says Shuki Oren: Half a year after joining Kardan NV, former treasury official Shuki Oren begs to reassure that the real estate company will meet its liabilities. Kardan has NIS 125 million cash in hand and debts to bondholders and banks of NIS 2.5 billion.(Now you know.) Kardan has had to heavily write down the value of properties it owns and the company remains highly exposed to the real estate markets of eastern Europe, where property values have plunged. Kardan's market cap is down 95% from its peak (in November 2007) to NIS 300 million. Its bonds are trading at yields as high as 50%. The bottom line, says Oren, is that the company's assets value remains well above the sum of its debts; "The company will meet its liabilities," he categorically states.