Israel’s Healthcare System
Author: Dov Chernichovsky
October 02, 2011
Israel’s national healthcare system suffers from structural flaws to which the State has contributed. These include a lack of both the resources and the administrative flexibility to cope with rising demand for care as supply has declined.
Rather than aiding the public part of the system to cope with the challenge, the State has exacerbated the situation by reducing the share of public funding and by encouraging the private insurance funds to provide these services.
The result is an uncontrolled rise in service demand in the private part of the system that is largely met by personnel who are also employed in the public part. Thus, not only has the healthcare system declined in efficiency, reflected in a relative inflation of healthcare prices due to double pay and waste, but the situation has also worsened in terms of income distribution and access to medical services.
This deterioration also manifests in growing disparities between poor and rich, between central Israel and its periphery, and between incomes of interns, who cannot do privately paid work and those of specialists who can. Worst of all, early indications of these systemic flaws are becoming apparent at the public health level, as seen in a rise in infant mortality among the Bedouin of the Negev and other weaker groups in society.
This appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication State of the Nation Report 2010.