Poll: Israelis Mostly Satisfied With Health-Care System

YERUSHALAYIM -
Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israelis for the most part are satisfied with the country’s medical-care system, even if some are dissatisfied with specifics of health care. The poll, by the Myers JDC Brookdale Institute, shows that 89 percent of the representative sample of over 2,500 Israelis polled were satisfied with the services they receive from their health-care organizations (kupot cholim). Some 63 percent said they were satisfied with health care in Israel overall. However, only 44 percent expressed confidence that they would get “the best treatment possible” if they needed care for a serious illness.

Ninety percent of the respondents said that they had used the services of a family doctor in the past year. Of those, 35 percent said that they had gone to the doctor just to get some forms filled out or signed. Forty-six percent said they had high confidence that they would receive good care in public hospitals, while 54 percent said they were not confident that they would be well cared for. And 41 percent said they were positive their health funds would ensure that they received good care.

One thing that many people were not satisfied with was the long waits that they often experienced for a doctor’s appointment. Some 27 percent of those polled said that they had left before their turn because of the long waiting times, while one out of four reported that they were required to wait a month or more before seeing a specialist. With that, only 19 percent said that they had gone to a specialist and paid privately.

Responding to the poll, Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said in a statement that “the poll shows that patients are satisfied with the care they get from health-care providers, but at the same time we see the need to strengthen the system. The results of the poll reflect numerous changes we have made that have improved patient satisfaction. I will continue to advance reforms in the health system for the benefit of all Israelis, and ensure that improvements are made where needed.”