Every day, one of two dozen health tech leaders in Israel take turns to visit the Knesset for sharing their opposition against the judicial overhaul planned by the government, including Ronit Harpaz.
They put forward the latest data in front of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee to show what they think are some big risks to their industry due to the reforms.
Harpaz said that it is like shouting in the wind because no one listens. She said that she sat opposite MK Simcha Rothman, the chair of the committee, and shared so much data.
However, she said that they are just mocked for it and call her and her company privileged. She said that they tell her that she is wasting her time.
There has been a great deal of discussion about the potential consequences of the judicial overhaul for the tech industry in Israel in general.
But, Harpaz and her colleagues claim that special attention needs to be directed towards the health tech sector.
This is because the sector requires huge amounts of foreign investment, top scientific brainpower as well as international commercial and academic collaborations.
She said that if Israel was to lose its perception as one of the liberal democracies in the world, it would leave the health tech sector quite vulnerable.
According to health tech leaders, there is already a decline in funding and Israeli researches have already begun to look for positions abroad instead of within the country.
20% of the tech ecosystem in Israel is health tech, which includes medical devices, digital health, biomedicine and pharma.
There are almost 1,600 active companies in the sector and the workforce stands strong at 30,000. Foreign investment of more than $4.6 billion has been attracted by the health tech sector in the last two years.
8400- The Health Network
The members and board of a non-profit organization that was founded in 2017, 8400- The Health Network, are amongst those who are concerned about the consequences of the judicial overhaul.
There are a total of 320 members of the organization and they are the leaders in government, healthcare, med-tech entrepreneurship, biotech, venture capital and academia.
In late February, a statement was issued by the organization’s board in which it said that they were concerned about the negative impact of the legislative steps of the government on the biotech and high-tech industries in Israel.
The statement said that their goal was to develop and advance health technologies in the country to for ensuring economic growth, both locally and internationally.
Therefore, it was a big concern that companies had started to shift their intellectual property abroad and investors were not ready to add more funds in Israel.
The primary concern in the short term are the financial consequences that will be seen because of the judicial overhaul.
Daphna Murvitz, the CEO and co-founder of 8400, said that health tech is at greater risk than general tech, with both already facing difficulties due to the global economic situation.