Israeli doctors in action (illustration)
Israeli doctors in action (illustration) Israel News photo: Flash 90

The OECD has praised Israel’s health system, calling it one of the most successful operations in OECD countries, but despite the clean bill of health, it still is not perfect.

The Ministry of Health said an international delegation examined Israel’s health facilities last year, and a preliminary report noted Israel has maintained high quality medical care despite budgetary restrictions.

The OECD said that Israel is outstanding in early detection of chronic diseases and also maintains a system that reduces unnecessary visits to hospitals.

A full report is to be issued next month and will be presented at an annual conference on quality of health services.

OECD delegations toured the Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv, Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Ichilov in Tel Aviv and the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva. They also visited health fund clinics as well as a maternity clinic in a Bedouin community in the Negev and met with representatives of patients' rights of the Arab population.

The OECD notes that Israel has established one of the most successful health systems in OECD countries during the 15 years since it enacted the National Health Insurance Law.

Israel was praised for its success in treating diabetes, compared with other OECD countries, and the report said that medical care in Israel benefited from the increase in doctors who made aliyah from the former Soviet bloc.

However, the OECD pointed out Israel’s hospitals need to improve the quality of care, and it said that health services should be more accessible to everyone, noting that poorer people are adversely affected by not having equal access.

Deputy Health Minister Knesset Member Rabbi Yaakov Litzman responded to the report, "The OECD noted that Israel's health system is one of the most advanced among member countries and praised the steps taken by the firm in recent years to strengthen the public health system. “However, the report also notes places that require improvement. I do not intend to ignore these points, and after the publication of the full report of the organization, Ministry Director-General Prof. Ron Gamzu will submit a plan to implement the recommendations raised in the report."

Prof. Gamzu said, "I was pleased to see that the OECD sees many parts of the health system in Israel as a ‘light unto the nations’ and recommends that other countries adopt practices of the health system in Israel.”

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