Poll: Israeli Doctors Stay Away from the Doctor

A view of the Meuhedet Health Services clinic in Yerushalayim. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

According to a poll, over half of doctors do not go to the doctor when they need medical assistance or care. According to the poll of over 2,200 Israeli doctors published in Yisrael Hayom, most of these doctors wrote prescriptions for themselves when they needed medicine, after assessing their conditions on their own.

The reason for “self-care?” According to the poll, 44 percent of doctors said that they were dissatisfied with the care they got when they went to the doctor. A main reason for the dissatisfaction was the long waiting times to see a physician, especially a specialist, they would experience if they made an appointment at their Kupat Holim (HMO). Over 30 percent said that they had no regular family doctor, as well.

The poll was taken in response to recent calls by officials to prevent doctors from writing their own prescriptions, a law that has been passed in numerous other countries, including Britain. According to Professor Tony Heiman of the Meuchedet HMO, doctors should not treat themselves or their families, “because they are not objective, and their ability to make decisions is not as good as for non-relatives.” Self-prescription “is dangerous, and this phenomenon is currently unaddressed in the health system.”