Health Care Services – 2004
Author: Yaakov Kop Policy Research

Since 1995, Israel’s health care services have been operating under the State Health Insurance Law. The performance of the system and the population’s satisfaction with it are impressive. The system accomplishes this through large-scale and high-quality resources, especially human resources.

The challenge facing the system, primarily in view of changes towards increased private funding, is to maintain and improve the level of service.  Following these changes, satisfaction with the system has declined somewhat and there is concern that the changes in the composition of funding will impair the health of weak population groups, since these groups’ access to medical services is declining relative to others.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the State Health Insurance Law, which established every resident’s basic entitlement to a “basket” of medical services and created a funding system that would assure the fair and equitable realization of this entitlement. The law marked the first stage in the reform of the Israeli health care system as originally proposed by the Netanyahu Commission and, more recently, by the Amorai Commission. Other important elements of the reform, which pertain to the law directly and indirectly, concern issues that are not being implemented even though the system deals with them extensively. Three such issues are discussed in the second part of this chapter.

This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 2004, Yaakov Kop (editor).

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