Background - The Open Clinic is open to anyone without any means to receive health services. The majority of our patients are African asylum seekers. While the State usually grants conditional permits to asylum seekers, which allows them to stay in the country, they remain completely excluded from public, social, and health services.
Additionally, the State does not permit them to work, meaning they usually cannot afford to purchase private health insurance. Other patients include migrant workers without insurance, Palestinians whose health care and status was stripped after the Knesset passed the 2003 Amendment to the Citizenship Law, victims of human trafficking, and other dependents of Israeli residents who have unsettled legal status. These individuals have no way to receive basic health care; their only way to see a doctor is at PHR-Israel’s Open Clinic.
Goals - The Open Clinic serves to further the rights of margenelized communities lacking medical insurance. To achieve this goal, the clinic operates on two fronts: on a humanitarian level, the clinic provides medical services to the best of its ability to all who seek them at its doors, while on another level, the clinic’s services and direct, day-to-day interaction with the migrant community allows for the identification of key problems shared by both immigrants and those without status. The clinic utilizes all tools afforded it to further the struggle to transform policy and public medical insurance provisions deleterious to the population it serves.
Open Clinic Services -
The clinic's services, based on volunteer work, include: family medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, internal medicine, orthopedics, urology, neurology, surgery, cardiology, psychiatry
, acupuncture, endocrinology, gastroenterology, optometry, and the monitoring of chronically ill patients.
The clinic is served by approximately one-hundred doctors, nurses, interpreters, and administrative volunteers who aid in patient-reception. Other volunteers include physicians-in-training specializing in emergency and triage care.
Additionally, around forty doctors with a broad range of specialties receive patients at their private offices at little or no charge. While the clinic is unable to cover the costs of extensive and costly treatments, it maintains agreements and affiliations with various medical institutions to which patients can be referred for a variety of treatments and examinations, at no cost or at a substantial discount.