The following update was contributed by Debbie Burack, a volunteer for AACI’s Shira Pransky Project.
In May 2012 the Deputy Minister of Health, Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, signed a government order to establish the Mental Health Reform. Until that date, mental health services were not in the basket of services provided by the kupot cholim (HMOs), and were instead under the direct responsibilities of the Ministry of Health.
On July 1, 2015, this Mental Health Reform officially went into effect. Essentially, the kupot cholim now assume responsibility for all mental health services. This change demonstrates a progressive recognition of the integral connection between health of the body and health of the mind. It also helps to reduce any stigma attached to receiving treatment for mental health conditions.
In the same way that physical medical services are provided by your doctors on the kupot cholim, all mental health services are now provided or funded by the kupot cholim.
Founded on the judgment of clinical professionals, basic services include:
Psychiatric hospitalization services
Clinic based services, such as diagnosis, assessment, counseling, crisis intervention, personal, family or group treatment, follow-up and maintenance
Day treatment at a clinic
Regardless of age, any resident or citizen of Israel is entitled to receive these services, as per the recommendation of a medical professional. Treatment will be given in accordance with need.
If you have already been receiving mental health treatment, you should continue going to the same provider. Private information about your diagnosis and previous treatment will be transferred confidentially to your kupat cholim, with your permission. This is done in order to help your family physician achieve optimal outcomes when treating your total health.
Information regarding how to seek and receive mental health treatment is provided by your respective kupat cholim. Either ask your family doctor, or call the moked (call center) of your kupat cholim. This process works the same way even with an individual who is currently in a rehabilitative framework.
In the event of mental distress that requires immediate care, you may go to a psychiatric emergency room at no charge, when your family physician or treatment provider is not available. Every mental health center has a 24 hour emergency room, and no referral is needed. You can also proceed to the emergency room of a general hospital, where psychiatric consultants are on duty.
In order to implement quality control of the professional mental health services provided by the kupot cholim, supervision and monitoring will be conducted by the Mental Health Division of the Ministry of Health. If the kupat cholim is overburdened, there may be a wait period until treatment is received. However, the Ministry of Health plans to oversee that waiting times are reasonable.
This update was contributed by a volunteer for AACI’s Shira Pransky Project. Debbie Burack moved to Israel twenty years ago and has been writing ever since. She writes on a wide array of subjects, with specialties in consumer health education and topics in art and design. For more info and to see her writing portfolio, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The parent leadership group advancing change in the Jerusalem area at the Kesher Jerusalem branch is inviting more parents to join!
Here is a personal invitation 🙂
Hi I’m Dina,
I am the mother of Matan, a 6 year-old special and charming boy who was born with a rare genetic syndrome. When Matan was born, I felt lost and alienated in a difficult world. I quickly realized that in order to survive and help my child develop and grow I need help.
Like all special parents I often encountered insensitivity, prejudice and endless bureaucratic difficulties. I knew I wanted to work for change for the benefit of Matan and for all the special children and so I joined the leadership of the “Parents Make a Difference in Jerusalem” at Kesher.
Together with other mothers and fathers we are determined to work for equality and inclusion of children with special needs and their families in various areas of life in our city of Jerusalem. I would like to invite other parents to join us!
AACI’s Shira Pransky Project encourages English speakers to get involved in the causes that affect their lives, and connect with the greater Israeli community engaged with the same causes. Kesher is an Israeli organization that supports and empowers families of children with special needs.
Tishkofet Ma’agan (Life’s Door) offers subsidized therapy for those coping with illness and loss. The basic subsidized rate is 180 NIS per session, but further subsidies are available and each client’s needs and means are assessed individually.
Legal issues, rights and obligations are just as much an integral part of the healthcare system as the insurance and treatment options available within it.
Many people might be quick to pursue legal action if they think their rights have been violated, but this is almost never the best course of action. It is recommended that you 1) Understand your rights, 2) Submit formal complaints to the relevant parties, 3) Seek out legal aid and advice if necessary.
Step 1: Understanding Your Rights
Many of the resources we offer provide information on health-related rights and entitlements. You should check out our All Rights Index for a comprehensive collection of this information.
Information about the most basic healthcare rights can be found on our “General Healthcare Rights” page. Health-related employment rights can be found here.
Social workers in the kupot cholim, hospitals and other institutions and organizations are invaluable resources for getting basic advice related to rights and services.
Assistance and support organizations catering to specific population and focusing on specific illnesses or disorders are also great resources for more specialized expertise on rights. If you have diabetes, for example, an organization focusing on providing support for diabetes patients should be consulted. Check out our Organizations Directory where you can search and browse hundreds of health-related assistance and support organizations in Israel, by clicking here.
Step 2: Where to Complain
Every public healthcare institution and organization in Israel is required to have an ombudsman – the address for complaints within that institution or organization. For more information on complaints and appeals, check out the following pages:
If you think your rights have been violated and legal action might be necessary, there are a number of sources of free and subsidized legal aid and advice. AACI’s Shira Pransky Project does not provide any direct legal aid or advice and aims to provide the most comprehensive resources available to better understand your legal health-related rights, claim them, and know who to contact in order to request free or subsidized legal aid when necessary.
Assistance and support organizations catering to specific population and focusing on specific illnesses or disorders are also great resources for more specialized expertise on rights and potential sources for reliable legal advice. If you have diabetes, for example, an organization focusing on providing support for diabetes patients should be consulted. Check out our Organizations Directory where you can search and browse hundreds of health-related assistance and support organizations in Israel, by clicking here.
Not familiar with AACI’s Shira Pransky Project?
AACI’s Shira Pransky Project was founded to help English speakers in Israel better navigate the Israeli healthcare system and make use of the rights and services that are out there.
Eye clinics across the country are offering free eye exams throughout December as part of Lirot’s Eye Health Awareness Month!
For a list of participating eye clinics, click here.
Lirot – The Israeli Research Association for Eye Health and Blindness Prevention was established by parents of children affected by serious vision disorders that lead to blindness. To learn more about Lirot’s activities, check out our Organizations Directory or their website.
Bottles of “Vodka Kremlin” and “Nasich HaArak” that were confiscated by police were tested by Misrad HaBriut and was found to have 523 – 533 times the legal amount of methanol in them. The arak is suspected to be a forgery because of various misspellings such as the word “ערק” which is spelled “ארק” and the word “ממולא” which is spelled “ממלוא”.
The permitted amount of methanol in vodka and arak according to Israeli Standard 1572 is 10 grams per 100 liters ethanol.
Drinking excessive amounts of methanol can lead to blindness and even death. Methanol poisoning is expressed as dizziness, confusion, weakness, headaches, vomiting, stomachaches, and convulsions.
The Ministry of Health is calling on the public not to drink these products because they are a danger to public health.
If needed, you can report to the moked at *5400 or the Department of Enforcement in Misrad HaBriut at 02-6551797, 02-6551772 or email email@example.com.
The regulations for diabetics submitting a claim for any of the following will change as of December 1, 2014:
General disability pension from the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi)
Work injury allowance from the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi)
Income tax exemption request from the Tax Authority
For anyone submitting a claim to the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) after December 1, 2014, the degree of medical disability will be established according to new regulations as detailed below:
For individuals with uncontrolled diabetes:
If you have additional complications, disability of at least 65% will be established if the severity of at least one complication is determined to be at a rate of at least 30% disability, or if you have at least two complications each of which has been determined to be at a rate of 20% disability.
If you do not have additional complications, have one complication determined to be at a rate of less than 30% or two complications each of which has been determined to be at a rate of less than 20%, the degree of medical disability will be determined according to the severity of the diabetes up to 50% medical disability (instead of 40% as it had been previously).
Please note: If you submit a claim before December 1, 2014 and the medical committee or medical appeals committee then meets between December 1, 2014 and December 1, 2017, your rate of disability will be determined according to either the new or old regulations, whichever is more beneficial to you.
For more details on these changes, contact the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) by calling *6050.
Click here to view the full regulations (in Hebrew).
According to a Ministry of Health announcement, Zovirax eye ointment from batches 4E915 (expiration 5.2019) and 4B909 (expiration 2.2019) has been recalled due to the suspected presence of solid particles in the ointment.
The Ministry of Health has ordered the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to remove the effected product from use.
Individuals using ointment from either of these batches should discontinue use immediately, go to their doctor for instructions and alternatives, and are requested to return the product to the pharmacy.
The complete Ministry of Health announcement in Hebrew can be found here.
According to a Ministry of Health announcement, Fresenius has announced a recall of Heparin after particles were found in the product.
Please Note: Heparin is primarily used as an anticoagulant in hospitals and dialysis facilities. It is rarely used by individual patients at home. Individuals who self-inject Heparin at home must go to the nearest hospital to receive an alternative, while those who inject it subcutaneously or who use it as a catheter flush must contact their kupat cholim.
No reports have been received regarding any clinical issues arising due to this product defect.
The complete Ministry of Health announcement in Hebrew, along with pictures of the defective product can be found here.
Unfortunately, the mental health system is one of the most neglected aspects of the Israeli healthcare system. Many people are even more ignorant about their rights within the mental health system than they are about general healthcare rights.
As part of our on-going collaboration with Kol-Zchut, we are proud to have translated and published a Rights Guide for the Mentally Ill and Their Families. While a number of the links in the guide still lead to Hebrew content, it is an easy-to-read, critical and unique resource of information that was not previously available in English. You can either view the guide below or click here to follow an external link.
Magen David Adom has just announced that there is a blood shortage and has called for as many people to donate blood as possible. Come out on Sunday October 26 to answer their call and get free ice cream!
Sunday, October 26th
AACI BLOOD DRIVE – 16:15 – 19:00
in cooperation with Magen David Adom
Donate blood at AACI and receive a FREE cup of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!
There will also be a book sale from 13:00 – 20:00 and a representative from iVote Israel from 16:00 – 18:00 to answer questions about voting in the upcoming election.
AACI – Dr. Max & Gianna Glassman Family Center
37 Pierre Koenig, Talpiot 02-566-1181
4th floor, corner of Poalei Tzedek 2, opposite Hadar Mall