Health care in Israel

Health care in Israel

Health care in Israel is both universal and compulsory, and is administered by a small number of organizations with funding from the government. All Israeli citizens are entitled to the same Uniform Benefits Package, regardless of which organization they are a member of, and treatment under this package is funded for all citizens regardless of their financial means.


The Health care system in Israel is reputed as one of the most advanced in the world, and is notable for its many achievements in medical research and universal public accessibility.

The public health care system in Israel was built on the basis of the health system which was active in Israel during the British Mandate, before the founding of the state of Israel. Health insurance was, and still is, administered by the Health maintenance organizations (קופות החולים), most of which were set up by the labor unions before the founding of the State. These Health Maintenance Organizations are membership-based. Originally, the members paid member-taxes to these funds, and received in return a set guarantee of health services.

In 1973 a special law was enacted which forced all employers in Israel to participate in the medical insurance of their workers, by means of a direct payment to the Health Maintenance Fund in which the workers were members. The duty of participation was eventually changed and diminished as part of the arrangements law (חוק הסדרים במשק המדינה) of 1991.

In 1988 The government appointed a Royal CommissionFact|date=August 2008 to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the Israeli health care system. The commission handed in the final report in 1990. The main recommendation of this report was to enact a Health Insurance law in Israel.

Health insurance law in Israel

In 1995 the National Health Insurance Law came into effect, which made membership in one of the four existing Health Maintenance Organizations compulsory for all Israeli citizens. The law determined a uniform benefits package (סל בריאות) for all citizens - a list of medical services and treatments which each of the Health Maintenance Organizations is required to fund for its members. Additionally, certain services were brought under the direct administration of the State, usually by means of the Health Ministry. In addition, the law set out a system of public funding for health care services by means of a progressive health tax, administered by the Israeli social security organization, which transfers funding to the Health Maintenance Organizations according to a certain formula based on the number of members in each fund, the age distribution of members, and a a number of other indices. Additionally, the Health Maintenance Organizations receive direct financing from the state's budget.

Before enactment the Health Insurance Law, the only Health Maintenance Organization to accept members without discrimination based on age or medical situation was the Clalit HMO which was then in the ownership of the Histadrut labour federation. After enactment of the 1995 law, membership in any of the four Health Maintenance Organizations was guaranteed for all citizens, and Israelis were given the right to transfer between Organizations once per year.

The 1995 law also imposed a system of financial and medical oversight of HMOs by the State.

In addition to the uniform benefits package provided to all citizens, which provides coverage for basic and essential health care, every HMO fund provides their members with the option to acquire a "Complete insurance" (ביטוח משלים), which includes services and treatments that are not covered by the publicly-funded system.

Health system in the communities

The health system in the communities was mainly intended to provide routine medical services to the wide population, through services of preventive medicine, treatment of the fluent problems through the clinics and institutes, rehabilitation in a community environment, and different actions to the advancement of health, such as the family planning, fitness, right nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

The health system in the communities is mainly intended to bring the medical services to the environment of patiense and to prevent, as much as possible, the need for hospitalization of the patience in the hospital.


A great number of hospitals exist in Israel, which are spread out throughout the country, from Safed in the north and until Eilat in the south. According to the population dissemination in Israel, the majority of the hospitals are located in the center of the country. Part of the hospitals are general, i.e. destined to handle a variety of treatments to a variety of medical situations, and other and destined to give treatment to a certain type of medical situations.

General Hospitals

The biggest general hospitals in Israel belong to the state (and are operated by the Health Ministry) and to the Clalit HMO.

The general governmental hospitals are:
* Sheba Medical Center - located at Tel HaShomer.
* Tel Aviv Medical Center - located at Tel Aviv.
* Edith Wolfson Medical Center - located at Holon.
* Hillel Yaffe Medical Center - located at Hadera.
* Rambam Hospital - located at Haifa.
* Bnei Zion Medical Center - located at Haifa.
* Western Galilee Hospital - located at Nahariya.
* Rivka Ziv Hospital - located at Safed.
* Poriya Hospital - located at Tiberias.
* Barzilai Medical Center - located at Ashkelon.
* Assaf HaRofe Hospital - located at Be'er Ya'aqov.

The general hospitals in the ownership of the Clalit HMO are:
* Carmel Hospital - located at Haifa.
* HaEmek Medical Center - located at Afula.
* Sapir Medical Center - located at Kfar Saba.
* Rabin Medical Center - located at Petah Tikva.
* Kaplan Medical Center - located at Rehovot.
* Soroka Medical Center - located at Beersheba.
* Yoseftal Medical Center - located at Eilat.

Other large general hospitals in Israel:
* Hadassah Medical Center - located at Jerusalem.
* Sha'arei Tzedek Medical Center - located at Jerusalem.
* Bikur Cholim Hospital - located at Jerusalem.
* Laniado Hospital - located at Netanya.
* Herzliya Medical Centers - located at Herzliya.
* Asutta Hospital - located at Tel Aviv.
* Italian Hospital - located at Haifa.

See also

* List of hospitals in Israel

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