Israel’s health care and its advantages for patients from the CIS

Israel’s health care system is considered to be one of the most advanced in the world. Israeli doctors have the latest medical equipment and use the most advanced medical technologies. Finally, Israel has a very high level of training. Even after having acquired the medical profession the specialists constantly upgrade their skills at the best medical centres in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Top quality

According to Bloomberg which publishes an annual global report about health systems, Israel is ranked the 4th, behind Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and a special committee consisting of foreign experts give high grade to the local system of public medicine (clinics, mother and child health centres), and noted the high level of the Israel’s public hospitals.
The report, prepared by the committee, stated that Israel had one of the world’s best systems of prevention and early detection of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. This system allows to avoid unnecessary hospitalisation, reduces the burden on hospitals and medical expenses.
The team believe that the key to the success of the Israeli health care system is the National Health Insurance Law, passed by the Knesset in 1995.

The state of health

Israel has the best health indicators in comparison with the developed countries in Europe. For example, life expectancy in Israel is among the highest in the world. Among women it is 82 years and among men – 78.5 years. Infant mortality in Israel (4.28 per 1,000 births) is one of the lowest in the world. The annual population growth rate stands at 1.8%. The overall mortality rate is 5.5 per 100,000 people.

Doctors’ training

Doctors’ training in Israel lasts between 4.5 years (for specialists in family medicine and psychiatry) to 6 years (surgery). It follows graduation from a school of medicine. Having finished her/his studies at the medical faculty of one of the four universities (6 years ), and an internship (1 year), the physician chooses to specialise in one of the medical skills. Young doctors have to go through training at one of the hospital departments and pass two exams before they receive the title of a senior doctor. At the next stage they often undergo additional two-year training specialising in a particular field at medical centres in the United States, Canada or Europe.
For example, a specialist in gynecology may undertake additional training in departments of artificial insemination, a specialist in urology would specialise in pediatric urology, an oncologist would learn the methods of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
The Israeli doctor becomes independent after a period of training which lasts between 13.5 to 15 years. Then he can start work at one of the hospitals or clinics and embark on private practice. The longest training period is in the field of orthopedics.
Today, the Israeli health care system comprises about 20,000 physicians in various areas. 12.5 thousand doctors are specialists while the remaining are general practice doctors. The system is based on a continuous learning process, and this is achieved by periodic certifications, conferences and courses. Experienced doctors in Israel enjoy a high income, their status in the society is very high, they are considered to be the national treasure. Some of them are often invited as consultants by other developed countries.

State regulation

The Ministry of Health provides the legal framework of professional doctors’ work through the medium of relevant laws and regulations.
Medical services to Israeli citizens are based on the insurance of health care companies. However, insurance companies cover the personal responsibility of the doctors. The companies insure specific medical areas and doctors tend to work mostly in the fields in which they specialise.

Israeli hospitals: public, independent and private

In Israel, there are many treatment centres offering medical services to nationals and foreigners. Some of them are multi-functional health centres while others treat particular diseases.

Public hospitals

  • Medical Centre Haim Sheba (Tel Hashomer)
  • Medical Centre Sourasky (Ichilov) (Tel Aviv)
  • Medical Centre Wolfson (Holon)
  • Medical Centre Asaf Ha-Rofe (Rishon Lezion)
  • Medical Centre Rambam (Haifa)
  • Medical Center Moshe Soroka (Be’er Sheva)
  • Hospital Hillel – Yaffe (Hadera)
  • Medical Centre Bnei Zion (Haifa)
  • Western Galilee Hospital (Nahariya)
  • Medical Centre Ziv (Safed)
  • Hospital Poria (Tiberias)
  • Medical Centre Barzilai (Ashkelon)

Private Hospitals

  • Hospital Assuta (Tel Aviv)
  • Herzliya Medical Centre

List of hospitals owned by public organisations

  • Hadassah Hospital (Jerusalem)
  • Medical Centre Shaarei Tzedek (Jerusalem)
  • Hospital Bikur Holim (Jerusalem)
  • Hospital Laniado (Netanya)
  • Italian Hospital (Haifa)

List of hospitals belonging to Clalit Health Insurance

  • Medical Centre Moshe Soroka (Be’er Sheva )
  • Medical Centre of Yitzhak Rabin (Petach Tikva)
  • Children’s Medical Centre Schneider (Petah Tikva)
  • Psychiatric hospital Gea (Petah Tikva)
  • Geriatric Hospital Beit Rivka (Petach Tikva)
  • Medical Centre Carmel (Haifa)
  • Medical Centre Ha-Emek (Afula)
  • Medical Centre Meir (Kfar Saba)
  • Hospital Kaplan (Rehovot)
  • Rehabilitation Hospital Yitzhak Levinstein (Raanana)
  • Medical Centre Yoseftal (Eilat)

What or whom to choose?

Most hospitals in Israel, regardless of ownership, are equipped with the latest medical equipment and employ highly skilled staff specialists.
Having checked the prices in all hospitals the patient can make a decision about the best available treatment from the point of view of the level of experts and services.

What is special about Israel’s health care?

The system of hospitalisation in Israel is very different from Russia, for instance. Patients are hospitalised only if their treatment cannot be performed on an ambulatory basis. Therefore, the average hospital stay lasts for approximately 4.1 days. Even after the surgery the patient may be discharged on the second day. This often leads to confusion among foreign visitors from the CIS countries. When they are discharged within 3-4 days and are offered outpatient treatment, some take it as unwillingness to continue the medical treatment. The reason is simple: Israeli doctors believe that in a satisfactory condition treatment procedures can take place without hospitalisation. Given the number of years of the doctors’ training, the age of your doctor is an important factor. If he is young, he may have not yet passed all the stages of learning. When choosing a doctor one should study his international experience and professional level. It may be appropriate to ask also about his/her international experience.

The main advantages of the health care system in Israel for patients from the CIS

1. Foreigners who come to Israel for treatments do not encounter any queues to specialists, procedures or tests. Even if there is high demand for a particular specialist, patients arriving from abroad enjoy fast and professional medical services.
2. Patients are treated using all the latest technological innovations.
3. Israel offers various preventive treatments. In most cases they are cheaper than those in the United States and Europe. At the same time the quality of services is often higher than elsewhere.
4. For foreign patients, including Russian-speakers, Israeli hospitals have no language difficulties – every hospital employs many Russian speaking specialists.
5. The mild Israeli climate contributes to the process of recovery.

In conclusion, a patient from the CIS will certainly find a suitable treatment in Israel and enjoy high quality medical services.