Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Private and public healthcare in Israel

In Israel, there is disagreement over the right ways to mix publicly funded health care and private insurance. Here's the story from Haaretz:
In dramatic decision, private medical care banned in Israel's public hospitals
Although committee headed by Health Minister Yael German banned private services, medical tourism is still allowed, though it is unclear to what extent.
By Roni Linder-Ganz | 16:39 25.06.14 |

"Private medical services, popularly known by the Hebrew acronym sharap, would no longer be permitted at government hospitals if the recommendations of a committee headed by Health Minister Yael German are adopted."

Here's an ungated report: Health Minister: No Private Care in Public Hospitals  
Health Minister (Yesh Atid) Yael German announced on Wednesday, 27 Sivan 5774 that after about a year of deliberation and meetings, the committee she headed has decided private “Sharap” (שר”פ – שרות רפואה פרטי) medical care would not be offered in the nation’s public hospitals.
German is a supporter of the Sharap service and during the months of meetings she tried to persuade her colleagues to vote in favor of the option, a move she feel would improve the nation’s healthcare as well as shorten waiting lines for appointments with experts.
However the committee decided against it for it believes it is better for the masses to place more of the health care burden on the government instead of the private citizen.

Globes reports that “supporters of private medicine included German herself; Penina Koren, the former head of her office in the Herzliya Municipality; National Economic Council chairman Prof. Eugene Kandel; health economist Prof. Jacob (Kobi) Glazer; Ministry of Health director general Prof. Arnon Afek; and Israel Medical Association Secretary General Leah Wapner. Opponents included former Ministry of Health deputy director general Prof. Gabi Bin-Nun, Prof. Leah Achdut from the Ruppin Academy, Ministry of Finance deputy budgets director Moshe Bar Siman Tov, and Adv. Adi Niv-Yaguda, a specialist in medical law”.
If the Sharap plan would have been approved, it would have permitted choosing a specialist in a public hospital, which would also result in a shorter waiting period. Sharap is paid for by the patient, who may or may not have additional healthcare insurance to cover it. For example, a private visit today in Hadassah Hospital with a senior specialist under Sharap costs 1,150 NIS. Kupat Cholim Maccabi will reimburse a patient if s/he sees a senior physician whose name appears on the approved list in the amount of 80% or 616 shekels, whichever is lower.
Opponents feel that the top doctors are taking private patients during the hours they should be seeing HMO patients and therefore, those unable to pay for private medical care are left out in the cold with substandard care and long lines for an appointment or procedure.

A few years ago I blogged about a similar debate concerning Britain's National Health Service:

Monday, May 31, 2010

The London Times reports NHS bars woman after she saw private doctor 

No comments: