Israel, Yad L’Olim to fund healthcare accessibility for olim

Science and Health

Yad L’Olim had devised a new system to improve access to healthcare for Jews who have made aliyah to Israel from around the world, the Israeli immigrant advocacy group’s government relations department announced this week.

Under the new government budget, funds will be dedicated to ensuring that healthcare facilities are able to recruit medical experts who speak olim’s native languages. The languages will include English, French, Russian and Amharic.

Each medical facility and hospital will look at the demographic needs of its local community and hire accordingly.

Through improving communication with healthcare professionals, olim will have an improved experience of medical care within Israel. 

Representing the issue of olim healthcare in the Knesset

Yad L’Olim worked alongside opposition MK Tatiana Mazarski from Yesh Atid, who said that “the Yad L’Olim staff met with me about the lack of language accessibility in the health system for olim. I am committed to helping all olim and immediately went to work to address this issue. I submitted legislation requiring the state hospitals to hire medical experts who speak various languages as mother tongues.”

Mazarski brought the proposal to the Knesset Health Committee where coalition MK Uriel Buso, from Shas, enabled funding to be directed from the state budget. 

ISRAEL BOASTS an excellent socialized healthcare system – but there are gaps. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

“I am happy that I had the merit of helping olim in this matter via the Knesset Health Committee. Thanks to this initiative there won’t be any barriers for olim in the most critical moments. They will get the information and the treatment that they need. I am very proud that we made this part of the fixed budget for all governments moving forward,” Buso said. 

“Language accessibility in the healthcare system is one of Yad L’Olim’s top government relations agenda items. We are so happy about this development, which took months of work in the halls of the Knesset. MK Mazarski dedicated herself to getting this done from the first meeting we had with her about this topic,” said Dov Lipman, a former MK and the Founder and CEO of Yad L’Olim.

“We thank her for her remarkable commitment to the entire olim community. We also thank Knesset Health Committee Chairman MK Uriel Buso, without whose agreement and cooperation this could not have happened. There are still many steps needed before this new policy is implemented in hospitals, but it will now be the law.

“We will of course be on top of making sure that it’s implemented and continue our work to improve healthcare accessibility for olim.” 

Mazarski added her thanks, stating “I thank Health Committee Chairman MK Buso who accepted our proposal to be included in the new state health budget. I have worked together with Yad L’Olim since its inception two years ago and look forward to working together with them to do much more for all olim.” 

What is the immigrant advocacy group Yad L’Olim?

Yad L’Olim is a non-profit that serves as a voice in the Israeli government for English-speaking olim from all backgrounds. Dov and his government relations team are driving policy changes to provide immigrants with the tools that they need to succeed in Israel,” according to their website.

The organization helps olim with personal and communal issues, helping them to grapple with the challenges of living in a new country. As of today, the group has given personal assistance to 23,742 and helped 8284 olim refugees with basic necessities.

One of the organization’s most notable efforts was the provision of support and guidance to Ukrainian olim escaping the Russian invasion. Ukrainian-speaking representatives from the group helped the new olim with “employment, finding a place to live, and serving as their advisors and guides throughout the process of getting settled into their new lives in Israel.”

Yad L’Olim will be hosting an online free seminar on June 11 entitled ‘Mental Healthcare in Israel.’ Those interested can register for the event on the Yad L’Olim website.