Health in Israel
In recent years, erosion has taken place of the state investments in the health basket. In 2007, it should have risen to 32.3 billion NIS in 2007, whereas in reality it amounted to 25 billion NIS. This erosion has had a negative effect on the consumer. Some expensive medications, for example, were excluded from the basket, forcing patients to pay for them themselves, if they did not pay extra premiums in addition to the health tax. This development has also led to inequality between households, as not everyone can afford to pay premiums for extra services.
Many health issues are medicalized to a much larger degree than in many European countries. Medicines are prescribed in greater quantities, and pregnant women undergo a higher number of tests and receive more care than women in other countries. Women give birth in hospitals, usually with an epidural. The total expenditure on health care was 7.7 percent of GDP in 2011 (World Health Organization, 2011), lower than in most of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member states. The health budget for 2012 was 20.6 billion NIS (5.8 billion USD), according to the Ministry of Finance.
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