Almost two-thirds of Israelis doubt that the health system - and especially the Health Ministry - give patient safety top priority, but the family doctor is given the highest rating in such a comparison.
These were some of the findings of a Geocartography study carried out before a conference on the health system to be held on Tuesday in the Knesset auditorium and organized by the Ariel University Center in Samaria.
Only 31 percent of the representative sample said they thought the ministry is most concerned about patient safety, compared to 68% for the medical specialist and 75% for the family doctor. Private diagnostic and treatment institutes have a much better image than those in public institutions, it was also found.
Almost two-thirds of respondents said that health system protection for the rights of the patient are only middling or less. Poorer people are more satisfied than the economically better off, said Geocartography director Dr. Rina Degani, because they know they have no alternative to health care in public institutions and, through "cognitive dissonance," think they are better off than they really are.
Almost two in five said they thought medical negligence is quite common and that those medical staffers who are careless and cause harm rarely get punished.
Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman is due to address the all-day, third annual conference along with representatives of the health fund, the Israel Medical Association, MKs, medical negligence experts and others.
The public also seem suspicious of the hospitals, as the Geocartography poll found that two-thirds of the public think their health is liable to be harmed just due to hospitalization, with no connection to the condition for which they are hospitalized. Nevertheless, almost half the respondents said the Israeli health system was as good or much better than those abroad.