10 Interesting Health Facts About Israel That You Might Not Have Known!

In honor of this country’s 70th birthday this week, I thought I’d highlight some interesting health facts for you to bring up casually when you’re at the annual BBQ and impress your friends.

  1. Israel’s current healthcare system is only 23 years old. In 1995, the country passed a new law called the national health insurance law, or “chok bituach briyut mamlachti”, which created a general group of services “sal habriut” to which every citizen is entitled. Prior to this, only if people paid into the kupah were they entitled to healthcare.
  2. Henrietta Szold, the famous lady who started the Hadassah Medical Organization, initiated Tipat Chalav in 1921, well-baby clinics, with its first center in Jerusalem, to educate mothers and offer support and nutrition to infants, in order to combat the high numbers of infant mortality in what was then Palestine.
  3. The most recent statistics state there are ~34,000 registered physicians in Israel, giving a statistic of 3.08 doctors, 0.99 dentists and 5.7 nurses per 1,000 people.
  4. In 2016, Israel spent 7.3% of the GDP on healthcare.
  5. In 2012, only 3% of Jews in Israel (not including Haredim) were studying in one of the health professions, as compared to 18% of Muslims, 14% of the Christians, and 8% of the Druze. The majority of them were studying nursing.
  6. Two percent of Jewish men are employed in a health profession, as compared to 12% and 10% of Arab Muslim and Christian men, respectively. Seven percent of women are employed in a health profession, similar to Muslim and Christian women.
  7. In 2015, the average Israeli family spent 5.7% of its expenses on healthcare, and 37% on private healthcare insurance.
  8. The reasons that people chose to access private healthcare services were as follows: choose the doctor (42%); access services not available in the kupah (31%); get an earlier appointment rather than wait for their turn in the public system (22%); more pleasant service (5%).
  9. Twenty-two percent of Jewish men and 15% of Jewish women currently smoke (in Israel).
  10. There are currently 6,571,200 Jews living in Israel.

2 thoughts on “10 Interesting Health Facts About Israel That You Might Not Have Known!”

  1. I am pretty shocked by the smoking statistics. How do the percentages of GDP and doctor ratios compare to other countries?

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