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The healthcare system in Israel

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In 2015, national health expenditures accounted for 7.5% of GDP, and Israel was ranked the sixth healthiest country worldwide, according to Bloomberg. The country has state-of-the-art health facilities and equipment as well as highly skilled health professionals, and offers all residents a universal basic healthcare system. Staying healthy during your expatriation in Israel should not be much of a concern!

Healthcare offer in Israel

Israel’s Ministry of Health runs its own network of public hospitals and clinics, with a focus on institutions providing essential basic services such as maternal and child care, emergency aid, and psychiatric care. The government also operates public prevention institutions tasked with performing screening and control of communicable diseases as well as health education.

Additionally, the country also has an extensive network of private hospitals and clinics.

The quality of care is consistently excellent in both public and private institutions. Medical staff are highly qualified, and Israel stands out thanks to the modernity of its facilities and equipment, among the most technologically advanced in the world. Private clinics may offer improved amenities, such as cosy private rooms with TV access and gourmet food.

National Health Insurance in Israel

According to the National Health Insurance Law of 1995, the government funds universal health insurance through the Bituah Leumi (National Insurance Institute), which automatically covers all Israeli citizens, permanent residents, and Jewish newcomers making aliyah (that is, immigrating permanently to the Land of Israel).

Those mentioned above are required to enroll in and contribute to the national insurance plan.

As of 2015, national insurance contribution rates were as follows:

  • up to 5,171 NIS monthly income: employee share 3.5%, employer share 3.45%
  • from 5,171 to 42,435 NIS monthly income: employee share 12%, employer share 6.5%

A similar contribution-based system covers self-employed and unemployed people, at rates ranging from 5.97 to 17.83% of their income.

The national system is divided in four health plans, known as Kupot Holim (Patient Funds), namely Clalit, Leumit, Maccabi, and Meuhedet. Any of the four Kupot Holim covers essential care services such as general medicine, hospitalisation, surgery, mother and child care, prescription drugs, mental health care, dental care for children, and certain preventive and specialty treatments. Treatment in private practices is also covered under the scheme.

The Kupat Holim generally allow members to select their preferred general practitioner and specialists.

Private health care

If you do not fall within the national health insurance scheme beneficiaries, no need to worry. In exchange for a contribution equivalent to that to the public fund, Israeli employers are required to enroll expats and foreign workers in private health insurance plans offering similar benefits to the NHI.

Many Israelis elect to extend their medical coverage by purchasing complementary private health insurance to cover care left out by the public plan, such as adult dental and eye care, home nursing, or elective surgery. Accordingly, the private insurance offer is well developed in the country, and most major Israeli insurance companies offer quality health plans.

 Useful numbers:

Ambulance: 101

Emergency: 112

 Useful links:

List of hospitals in Israel
National Insurance Institute

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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