Changes in Israeli Mental Health Laws

As of July 1, 2015, the Ministry of Health has moved over the majority of its mental health services to be under the auspices of each kupah.  What does this mean?

To understand this, we first need to take a quick step back to understand the history.  Back in 1995, with the healthcare reform law, the government mandated four kupot (HMOs), to delivery healthcare on behalf of the state.  Due to an uproar is some healthcare circles, several areas were left out of this plan temporarily, including: tipat chalav (or well baby care ages 0-6), mental health, and birth.  The idea was for mental health and tipat chalav services to join the rest of healthcare under the kupot.  There is still resistance to completely move tipat chalav, although more and more branches of the kupot offer these services in parallel.

As of this summer, mental health has been relocated.  In actuality, much of the services will look the same.  If you want to see a psychologist, you still need to go get a diagnosis from a psychiatrist serving in one of the branch kupot offices.  Clalit requires you to get a referral from your regular doctor to see the psychiatrist.  In the others, you may make an appointment directly.

Here is the change:

Until now, it has been mostly under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.  Each kupah is required to offer the client: 1) subsidized psychological treatment 2) subsidized group psychological treatment 3) subsidized hospitalized care.


The following items will remain, for now, under the auspices of the Ministry of Health:

  • Multiple diagnoses in-hospital wards
  • Addiction Treatments
  • Treatment for Autism until age 7 in government sponsored kindergartens
  • Rehabilitation day care centers
  • Mental health services for prisoners
  • Rehabilitative services for mentally disabled (with integrated services by the kupot)
  • Dementia
  • Enlisted soldiers, officers and pilots


Each kupah subsidy is a bit different, but they are in the range of ~130 NIS for private therapist, which means it shouldn’t cost you much more than that for each individual session with a psychologist.  Speak to the secretary at the kupah clinic office for each specific kupah subsidy amount.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  Check out more articles on this topic at the Shira Pransky Project site.

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