Oral and Dental Health: The Responsibility of the State Towards Its Citizens
Author: Tuvia Horev, Jonathan Mann
August 19, 2007
Although investment in oral and dental health in Israel in terms of national expenditure and manpower is relatively high, the results are fairly poor.
Morbidity is high and the disparities between population groups are substantial. Public spending on dental health care is the lowest among Western countries. Oral and dental health is an integral part of overall health and morbidity in this area represents a drain on the individual and on society as a whole. Most European countries have recognized their obligation and have included dental care in their national health insurance plans and as part of their basket of services, something that eases accessibility to receiving care and narrows the gaps between population groups. The State of Israel has not as yet accepted this responsibility.
The authors state that the time has come to fulfill the intentions of the law regarding dental care for school age children by adding dental care to the basket of services that are stipulated under the National Health Insurance Law. They also recommend widening the basket of services for dental care to other population groups (such as the elderly) through a relatively modest budget increase. They also suggest establishing an epidemiological dental data base with on-going follow-up of individuals and cases, as well as widening educational work with populations, training more manpower in dental health care services and increasing the fluoridization of water in Israel.
This publication is in Hebrew only.