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How to Improve Israel's Health-care System


  • Philip Hemmings



Israelis enjoy higher life expectancy and have a much younger demographic profile than most OECD countries. However, the demand for health care is expanding rapidly due to population growth and ageing. Also, the country’s wide socio-economic divides are reflected in differences in health outcomes. To date the health-care system, centred on four health funds, is widely acknowledged as providing a basket of universal services, with good quality primary and secondary care, while also accommodating demand for private health care. However, there are challenges and tensions in the system. Currently the authorities are having to rapidly expand the number of places in medical schools and nurse training because large cohorts of health-care professionals are heading for retirement. More broadly, there are concerns that the core notion of a universal basket of services is being eroded by co-payments and the increasing demand for the additional services and options provided by private insurance. Although the quality of care is generally good, in hospital care there is room to improve data and concern that overcrowding may become chronic. This Working Paper relates to the 2013 OECD Economic Review of Israel ( israel.htm). Comment améliorer le système de santé d'Israël Israël se singularise par une espérance de vie plus élevée et une structure démographique nettement plus jeune que la plupart des autres pays de l’OCDE. Néanmoins, la demande de soins de santé augmente rapidement en raison de l’accroissement et du vieillissement de la population. Par ailleurs, les larges fractures socioéconomiques qui caractérisent le pays se traduisent par des disparités sur le plan de la santé. Pour l’heure, le système de santé, qui s’articule autour de quatre organismes d’assurance maladie, offre un ensemble de services universels, recouvrant des soins primaires et secondaires dont la qualité est largement reconnue, tout en satisfaisant la demande de soins de santé privés. Néanmoins, ce système est en proie à des difficultés et des tensions. Aujourd’hui, les autorités doivent rapidement accroître le nombre de places offertes dans les facultés de médecine et les formations aux soins infirmiers, car des cohortes nombreuses de professionnels de la santé se préparent à prendre leur retraite. De manière plus générale, certains craignent que le principe fondamental d’universalité des soins correspondant à un ensemble de services ne soit en train d’être remis en cause par le système de participation aux frais médicaux, et par la demande croissante de services et options supplémentaires offerts par des assurances privés. Bien que les soins soient globalement de bonne qualité, il serait possible d’améliorer les données concernant les soins dispensés dans les hôpitaux et certains craignent que leur surpeuplement ne devienne chronique. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE d’Israël 2013 ( 2013.htm).

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Hemmings, 2014. "How to Improve Israel's Health-care System," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1114, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1114-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    doctors; espérance de vie; health care; hospitals; hôpitaux; infirmières; Israel; Israël; life expectancy; médecins; nurses; physicians; preventative care; primary care; soins de santé; soins primaires; soins préventifs;

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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