The number of physicians, nurses, dentists and dental technicians continued to decline in 2012, according to a Health Ministry
annual report on the health professions issued on Tuesday.
document compared the medical manpower figures with those in the OECD, of which
Israel is a member, and was based on data banks in the ministry, the Central
Bureau of Statistics, the Israel Defense Forces, the Civil Service Commission
and most of the hospitals around the country.
The rate of medical school
graduates in Israel is relatively low, only 4.1 per 100,000
The rate of MDs up to the age of 65 fell to 263 per 1,000
residents compared to 713 at the end of 2000 – a 12 percent decline. The slowing
in immigration, including that of physicians, is partially responsible for this
in addition to the rise in the proportion of MDs over 65.
new MDs got their licenses compared to 300 a year a decade ago or more, because
medical school classes in existing medical schools have expanded and a new
medical school, in Safed, was opened but has not yet produced graduates. In
addition, the number of Israeli medical graduates from foreign medical schools
rose from 302 in 2011 to 307 the following year. Most of those who graduated
abroad studied in Hungary, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Italy.
The share of
women continues to increase, to 42% up to the age of 65 and 47% of doctors up to
age 45, compared to 39% and 43%, respectively, in 2000. More physicians decide
to go into medical specialties than to be general practitioners. The rate of
specialists was 1.75 up to the age of 65 per 1,000 residents compared to 1.53 in
2000, a 14% increase.
A little over half of the specialists studied
internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, gynecology/ obstetrics and
psychiatry. Women were represented more than average in psychiatry of children
and adolescents, anatomy and pathology, family medicine, endocrinology,
diagnostic radiology, geriatrics, oncology, hematology, pediatrics, psychiatry
of adults and dermatology.
As for nurses, there are fewer here than the
OECD average. Only 11.4 nurses graduate nursing school per 100,000 residents in
2011 compared to 42.8 as registered in the OECD average.
The average age
of Israeli nurses is also rising.
Yet 1,206 registered nurses received
their licenses in 2012 compared to 998 in the previous year.
encouragement of students to go into nursing and generous scholarships are
helping to change the trend, the report said.
The proportion of dentists
per capita continued to decline in the past decade, and their average age is
rising, but the number of dentists per 1,000 is nevertheless higher than the
OECD average. Thirty-nine percent of dentists are women. A quarter of the
dentists graduated from Israeli dental schools, compared to 38% who studied in
Eastern Europe, 25% in Jordan, Syria and Egypt and 11% from the Americas and
Western Europe. Slightly more dentists are studying for dental
There are fewer dental technicians under the age of 65 –
0.46 per 1,000 residents in 2012 compared to 0.46 in 2000. The rate of assistant
pharmacists also declined, from 0.16 per 1,000 in the year 2000 to 0.10 in
But there is an increase in the number of pharmacists,
psychologists, dental assistants, medical lab workers, optometrists, clinical
geneticists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, communications
specialists and clinical dietitians, according to the report.