Doctors licensed in the United States will soon be able to practice medicine in Israel without further qualifications or testing, a change which may help alleviate the acute shortage of medical professionals in the country, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.
The Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee has approved an exemption for physicians who have passed the American M.D. exams (USMLE) and who seek to settle and work in Israel.
It marks the first time that Israeli health authorities have accepted foreign test documents for a medical license. The exemption from the local licensing exam will be retroactive, granting a license to anyone has passed the USMLE in the past decade.
The new rules will go into effect when they are published in the state gazette Reshumot within the next few weeks.
Dr. Amir Shannon, head of the Health Ministry’s Medical Professions Licensing Department, said, “We are trying to make it easier for Israeli graduates who completed their medical studies in the U.S. and also for new American immigrants. The easing of conditions is apparently due to the growing shortage of doctors in Israel.”
Committee chairman Chaim Katz promised that he will “continue to act to relieve the lack of medical manpower and help doctors who do holy work.”