Author Topic: Israel's Health System  (Read 2362 times)

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Israel's Health System
« on: December 10, 2006, 11:33:29 PM »
Israel's health system is a mess. While it is free to go to the family doctor, there are usually long lines. Specialists are not that expensive but the problem with that is that it can take months to make an appointment to see one. And if a medicine is not covered by the Health Ministry health basket, it can cost you hundreds of shekels each month just for medicine even with insurance. However, most medicines are cheaper than here and they charge you by the quantity and not a flat charge of 5, 10, 20, or 40 dollars like the pharmacy charges here with insurance. However, even if you buy medicine in Israel without insurance or go to a doctor without insurance, it is cheaper than in the United States without insurance and sometimes even cheaper than with insurance. Everyone can get insurance there by just paying the National Insurance Institute each month which is the Israeli equivalent of Social Security. But you have to belong to a particular "Sick Fund" which is like an HMO and you can only use their doctors unless you decide to use a service at a government hospital which everyone can use. The Sick Funds are all political. The main one used to be only for Histadrut Labor Union workers. Now there is a law that everyone can be covered under any of them no matter where you work or if you don't work. Just like there was a Histadrut Sick Fund, there are also Sick Funds of other parties such as Leumi (National which stems from the nationalist movement that is now Likud.) and Maccabi (Which I think was a party that merged with Likud as well.). Sports leagues and banks also originated as belonging to political parties. Israel is political in everything.