In my jumbled understanding of Hebrew, I heard on the news the other day, something about private doctors not being able to see patients publicly anymore? Something about the law of a cold? I’m very confused, and I have a doctor whom I’m in follow up with in a hospital and I want to be able to keep my appointments with him. What’s going to happen?
Not Enough Hebrew to Understand the News
Dear Not Enough,
I think the news is one of the most difficult aspects of making Aliyah. I still don’t understand it even after 22 years here! You have most of the concepts right, just mistook the order a bit. After much deliberation, the Knesset passed a law called Chok Tzinun, or the law of a cooling off period. Simply put, any doctor (either self-employed or employed by the kupah) that sees a patient in a public setting [for example, in the kupah clinic], cannot perform a private operation on that patient within six months of that visit. For example, if you see Dr. Cohen for an evaluation for cataracts during his office hours in the Leumit clinic, you cannot then pay Dr. Cohen to perform cataract surgery at Hadassah Hospital two months later. The law was actually ratified at the end of 2015, to go into effect November 2017, with a three-year timeline, meaning that over a period of three years, all doctors should be following this law. In addition, the government has promised additional monies to offset waiting times for public operations, so that people will not have to wait months for an operation (the reason that they all chose to go private in the first place).
Yours in Health,
Ask Aviva #9: Why am I charged each time I go to the specialist?