- Universal coverage for all citizens of Israel
- Payment by a progressive health tax paid by individual taxpayers and not employers
- Standardized basket of health services
- Capitation to four HMO's or Kaupt Holim (sick fund)
- Significant problem with shortages of physicians and nurses
- Areas of major health inequality
- The percentage of out of pocket funding for health care continues to rapidly increase
Alex Leventhal, former head of Israel's Public Health Ministry and now in charge of international realtions for the Ministry of Health shared his perspective on the fact that Israel is now part of the OECD and is considered to possess one of the best health systems in the world.
Hagai Levine, a new faculty member in the Braun School shared his perspective on the role that environmental health played particularly around a process called a health impact assessment or HIA. The purpose of the HIA is to examine how policy affects the health of a population and the distribution of those effects in the population. Just imagine how different US health care would be were an HIA done prior to the passage of a particular piece of health legislation.
Finally, we were joined by a large group of International MPH students for the final lecture by Schlomo Mor-Yosef, President of the National Institute for Health Policy Research. He led off with an in depth conversation about the after affects of the recently settled Israeli physicians strike (more on that later). As a result of the National Health Insurance law, 0.1% of the tax is dedicated to conduct research, evaluation and policy oriented studies and seminars on the impact of the law and development of the health care system in Israel. The Institute exists as a independent, non-profit research center beholden to no one.
After a long day in the classroom we were escorted up to Mt. Olives, overlooking the Old City from the East. We heard about the creation of the modern state of Israel along with the history of the Old City from biblical times forward.
At the end of the day, Director Manor hosted a reception for her faculty, our students and the 36 or so students in the International MPH. It was a wonderful evening (thanks to Arthur Shorr for being our expert photographer) capped by a short presentation by Director Manor's husband who serves as a senior official in Israel's foreign ministry and is the former ambassador to Sweeden.
Overall a busy but truly memorable day!