'Each year, 1 in 3 Israelis sent to emergency room'
Health Ministry report finds two thirds arrive at hospitals due to disease, external causes or to give birth.
Underground emergency center in Ichilov Hospital Photo: Nir Elias/Reuters
More than one out of three Israelis reach the emergency rooms in the 28 general
hospitals in a single year, according to a statistical report the Health
Ministry issued on Tuesday that covers the years 2009 to 2011.
has remained steady in recent years.
Some 360 people out of every 1,000
end up in the emergency rooms due to disease (two-thirds), external causes (such
as road accidents, violence and others) or to give birth, the 61- page report,
written by ministry information branch head Ziona Haklai, said. Excluding
deliveries, the rate for visiting emergency rooms is 313 per 1,000
The most common ages for visiting emergency rooms, excluding
deliveries, are babies, young people of military service age, and those over the
age of 75. The lowest rate is among children aged five to 17.
Going to an
emergency room is more common in the periphery, especially in the North,
compared to in Tel Aviv, Haifa and the Center of the country. But Jerusalem has
shown the greatest reductions in emergency room visits – thanks to the
popularity and high level of care at the private Terem urgent care centers in
the capital, according to the report.
Thus the cost of urgent care is
cheaper for the healthcare system, because hospital emergency rooms are
significantly more expensive than urgent care clinics.
taking consideration of age, the rate of visits to Jerusalem emergency rooms in
hospitals is only 241 per 1,000 people, compared to 419 in the North and 355 in
Another trend shown by the statistical report is that poor
people are significantly more likely to visit emergency rooms than those who are
The report confirmed claims by Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek
Medical Center that its emergency room is the most active in the capital. A
total of 34.2 percent of non-obstetrics visits are at Shaare Zedek, compared to
29% at Hadassah University Medical Center in Ein Kerem, 22.8% at Hadassah
University Medical Center on Mount Scopus and 6% at Bikur Cholim
Terem opened an private urgent care center at Bikur Cholim a
few weeks ago instead of the hospital’s emergency room when Shaare Zedek took
over the financially troubled institution in the center of town. Patients who
are sick enough to have to be hospitalized are transferring to Shaare Zedek or
one of the Hadassah hospitals.