Health Care Services – 2006
Author: Yaakov Kop Policy Research

 Israel’s universal health care system provides all residents with medical services on a relatively high level and, generally, to the public’s satisfaction.

The services are legislated by the National Health Insurance Law and are delivered at relatively low private cost. The achievements in respect of the population’s health status and satisfaction with the health care services provided should be credited to the public nature of the system and the level and quality of its personnel. However, the system still has some residual problems that overshadow its achievements and are reflected in declining public satisfaction. They include, in particular, the problem of inequality in access to services and rising costs of the system.

This year as in the past, various aspects of developments in the health care system are reviewed with emphasis on issues that, if dealt with, may improve the functioning of the system and prevent harm to the population’s health. The chapter is divided into two parts. Part A surveys the main developments in the health care system. Section 1 discusses the optimum level of expenditure for health care services, comparing Israel with the OECD countries. Section 2 examines the composition of funding for the system and its effect on equity, with emphasis on the upward trend in the share of private funding in recent years. Section 3 is devoted to manpower in the health care system, and the last section examines the health status in Israel in selected areas, including recent developments in infant mortality and life expectancy. The second part of the chapter (B) discusses the significance of inequities in health and health care services against the backdrop of the second war in Lebanon.

This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 2006, Yaakov Kop (editor).

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