OECD: Medical Equipment, Hospital Bed Shortage

Israel's hospitals are consistently full-to-bursting, lack enough advanced medical equipment, according to 2012-based survey.

Tova Dvorin ,

Hospital (illustration)
Hospital (illustration)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The number of hospital beds per capita in Israel is among the lowest in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

According to the report, which was published Monday, the number of hospital beds in the country stands at about 1.9 beds per 1,000 people - compared to an average of 3.3 in OECD countries. Israel rounded out the bottom three in this regard, only followed by Canada and Mexico. 

Roughly 97% of Israel's hospitals are consistently full, the report adds - the highest of all OECD countries. The average stay for the Israeli patient is 4.3 days, considerably shorter than the 6.5 day average. 

The report also exposed Israel's ongoing nurse shortage, with just 4.8 nurses per 1,000 people in Israel in 2012, compared to the 8.8 per 1,000 people average in Europe. By contrast, Israel has slightly more doctors than average - 3.3 doctors per 1,000 people vs. the average of 3.1. 

Israel has fewer CT machines than most developed countries, with only 9.2 machines per million people instead of the average of 24. MRI machines are scarce as well, with only 3 devices per million people, compared with the 14 device average. 

The OECD also conducted a population census during data collection, revealing that Israel has a relatively young population. Just 10.3% of Israel's population is over the age of 65, versus the 15.7% average of OECD countries. On the other end of the spectrum, 28.2% of Israelis are under the age of 14 - the second highest in the world. 

The OECD report is based on 2012 data, however, and may not reflect the current situation in Israel or abroad.