By Mary Verchick
Israel is a country located north of Egypt, south of Lebanon, and west of Jordon, just east of the Mediterranean Sea. Some statistics of this region include population, which as of September 2012 stands at 7,933,200 (jewishvirtuallibrary, 1). The average life expectancy for men as of 2011 is 80 years and for women it is 85 years (jewishvirtuallibrary,1). An important place for the deeply religious, it is famous for being a very special location for the Jewish, Christians, and Muslims. “47,885 couples were wed in Israel over the past year, of which 75% were Jewish and 21% Muslim.” (Jewishvirtuallibrary,1) In 2010, Israel was ranked 17th amongst the world’s most economically developed nations, and the economy was ranked first as the most durable in the face of crisis. (ynetnews,2) As far as health care is concerned, there is a law instated called the National Health Insurance Law. Under this law , every Israeli citizen is supposed to be entitled to health care and has a right to obtain the health services while maintaining the member’s dignity, privacy and medical confidentiality.(Eisenstadt, 3) Though this law has been instated, is it true that both women and men receive the same health benefits and rights? In this paper I plan to explore what type of health benefits women are entitled to, if they are equal to what men receive, and how women are cared for in times of pregnancy and birth.
Israel indeed has a system set up so that every citizen has a legal right to health care benefits. Every citizen can choose one of four available health care packages, which include services like doctor visits, diagnostic and laboratory services, hospitalization including births and discounts on prescription medications. This is true for men, women, and children, the young and the old, the rich and the poor. This type of equality is thanks to the National Health insurance Law, which was established in 1995. Rights under this law are stated as such:
* “Every Israeli citizen is entitled to health care services under the National Health Insurance Law.
*Every resident has a right to register as a member of an HMO of his/her choice, free of any preconditions or limitations stemming from his/her age or the state of his/her health.
*Every resident has a right to receive, via the HMO of which she or he is a member, all of the services included in the medical services basket, subject to medical discretion, and at a reasonable quality level, within a reasonable period of time and at a reasonable distance from his/her home.
*Each member has a right to receive the health services while preserving the member’s dignity, privacy and medical confidentiality.
*Every Israeli resident has the right to transfer from one HMO to another.
*Each member has a right to select the service providers, such as doctors, caregivers, therapists, hospitals and institutes, from within a list of service providers who have entered into an agreement with the HMO to which the member belongs, and within the arrangements in place for the selection of the service providers, and which the HMO publishes from time to time.
*Each member has a right to know which hospitals and institutes, and other service providers, are included in the agreement with the HMO, and what are the selection processes at the HMO.
*Each member has a right to see and to receive a copy of the HMO regulations.
*Each resident has a right to receive from the HMO complete information concerning the payment arrangements in place in the HMO for health services as well as the HMO’s plans offered for additional health services (CIP).
*Each member has a right to complain with the Public Inquiries commissioner at the medical institute that treated the member, to the person in charge of investigating member complaints at the HMO of which s/he is a member, or to the complaints commissioner for the national health insurance law in the Ministry of