Background - Various amendments to the National Health Insurance Law and National Insurance Law have impeded access by many residents to health services. The 1997 Provisions Law included the cancellation of the Accompanying Tax—one of the designated funding sources of the National Health Law. As a result, Israel became one of the only nations (among developed nations with public health systems) with a medical insurance system along with insurance fees not distributed between employers and employees. Under the 1998 Provisions Law, medical groups were permitted to increase the patient-share of charges for services included in the basic national health-benefits basket—hindering access to medical services for many who chose against treatment due to costs. Such co-payments increase inequalities, harm patients, and do not make the health system more efficient or economical.
In the 2003 Provisions Law, an amendment was made to the National Insurance Law regarding its definition of “non-residents.” The amendment hurt those holding permits to reside in Israel whose primary residence was in Israel, and had, until then, been entitled to social services offered under the National Insurance Law. The amendment was also injurious to those designated temporary-residents and required to wait 183 days from the day of their designation to enjoy services, including national health insurance.
The 2008 Provisional Law sparked a heated public debate regarding the right of health groups to sell life-sustaining medications not included in the health-benefits basket to supplemental-insurance groups.
The Problem - Essential amendments to the National Health Law are made via the National Health Insurance Laws, blocking public discussion about consequences of such amendments for the health system. Numerous amendments have been passed that have impeded access to medical services, discriminated between residents seeking care, and damaged the public nature of the health system.
Campaign Goals - Physicians for Human Rights-Israel is fighting to repeal laws injurious to the egalitarian, public, and just nature of the public health system.