Growing number of poor can’t afford doctors or medications

Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed said they spent more money for medical services in 2010 than in 2009.

By
October 19, 2010 04:25
1 minute read.
Medical staff at a hospital

hospital doctors health 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The percentage of Israelis who say they had to forgo visits to medical specialists or the purchase of medications because they couldn’t afford co-payments has increased significantly in the past year, according to a new survey conducted by the Geocartography polling company.

The survey, commissioned by the Israel Medical Association and published on Monday, showed that 19 percent of the population doesn’t go to a doctor because of co-payments, compared to 9% who said the same a year before.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The highest rate of those forgoing care is in the periphery of the country and among low-income groups in the center. The pollsters examined a representative sample of 950 Israeli adults, with a sampling error of +/- 3.2%.

The share of those parents who did not consult a doctor for their children is now 14% among the weak socioeconomic groups compared to only 9% of the general population.

While 37% of the weakest sectors lacked confidence that they could provide medications and medical services for their themselves and their families in 2009, the figure has risen to 41% this year.

Fully 13% of the public said they did not purchase medications prescribed by their physicians because they couldn’t pay the fees. Eleven percent of the elderly in the weak socioeconomic sector did not go for medical services because they couldn’t afford them, compared to 8% of the general population.

Deputy IMA chairman Dr. Yitzhak Ziv-Ner said that as physicians regard themselves as the “natural advocates of the poor,” they feel obligated to push for social changes that affect human health. As the National Health Insurance Law of 1994 declared that basic medical care must be accessible to all residents whether they can afford to pay out of pocket or not, the survey results were very disappointing, he added.

Fully two-thirds of the public think the state is not doing enough to expand the basket of health services, which for 2011 will be expanded by only NIS 300 million. Nearly half of the public is worried that the economic burden of new medications and medical treatments they need would fall on its shoulders.



Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed said they spent more money for medical services in 2010 than in 2009.

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia

By UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM