HEALTH: Services

HEALTH: Services

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    The country's population is served by an extensive medical network comprising hospitals, outpatient clinics, and centers for preventive medicine and rehabilitation.​
  • Courtesy: Shaare Zedek Hospital
     
    The foundation of the health system, including a network of medical services for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, was laid during the prestate period by the Jewish community and the British Mandate authorities, which administered the country from 1918 to 1948.
    Thus, when the State of Israel was established, a well-developed medical infrastructure was already functioning, immunization was standard procedure, and frameworks for improving environmental conditions were operative. However, in the early years of statehood, the health services had to readdress some of the problems previously overcome in order to cope with the health needs of hundreds of thousands of refugees from postwar Europe and from Arab countries. This challenge was met through an intensive national effort involving provision of special services as well as a far-reaching plan of health education and preventive medicine.
    The country's population is served by an extensive medical network comprising hospitals, outpatient clinics, and centers for preventive medicine and rehabilitation. Hospital care includes highly advanced procedures and techniques, from in vitro fertilization, MRI scans, and complicated brain surgery to bone marrow and organ transplants.
    Mother-and-child care centers, for women during pregnancy and children from birth to early childhood, offer prenatal examinations, early detection of mental and physical handicaps, immunizations, regular pediatric check-ups, and health education.

     
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  • Administration and Structure

  • Health Personnel

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    Magen David Adom
    Courtesy: Magen David Adom
    Israel's approximately 32,000 physicians, 9,000 dentists, and 6,000 pharmacists pursue their professions as members of hospital staffs and neighborhood clinics as well as in private practice. About 72 percent of the country's 54,000 nurses are registered, while the rest are practical nurses.
    Training for medical professions is offered at four medical schools, two schools of dentistry, two of pharmacology, and 15 nursing schools, seven of which grant academic degrees. Courses for physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and nutritionists, as well as for X-ray and laboratory technicians, are available at a number of institutions.

    Magen David Adom, Israel's emergency medical service, provides a network of first aid stations, a nationwide blood donor program, blood banks, first aid courses, and a public ambulance service, which includes mobile intensive care units. The organization functions with the help of some 10,000 volunteers, many of them high school students, who serve at 109 stations throughout the country.
  • Health Insurance

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    The National Insurance Law provides for a standardized basket of medical services, including hospitalization, for all residents of Israel. Medical services are supplied by the country's four comprehensive health insurance schemes, which must accept all applicants regardless of age or state of health.
    The main sources of funding are a monthly health insurance tax of up to 4.8 percent of income, collected by the National Insurance Institute, and employer participation in the cost of insurance for their employees. The insurance schemes are reimbursed according to a weighted average number of insured persons, calculated by age, distance of home from a health facility, and other criteria determined by the Ministry of Health.