Israeli patients’ autonomy for specialty treatments to be overhauled

Science and Health

The autonomy of Israeli patients will expand on September 1 when they will be able to pick the hospital of their choice to undergo treatments in four more specialties – mental health services, gynecological surgery, neurosurgery and in-vitro fertilization.

These join the oncology and obstetrics departments that patients could already choose without being told by their health fund where to go.

An Israeli medical reform 15 years in the making

The Health Ministry said it has been trying to implement the reform for 15 years. Health Minister Moshe Arbel and Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov said it will increase patient accessibility and promote competition among the medical centers and transparency in authorization for medical care.

Outgoing Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov at a press conference on May 29 (credit: Courtesy)

The health funds’ “Form 17” that is necessary to get coverage for treatment in hospitals and specialized clinics will be provided to patients who want to choose where they will get medical care in the six specialties.

Each patient can choose from at least four hospitals for each referral, with at least two of which will be at a tertiary (advanced) hospital, and with at least two of the four near the patient’s place of residence.