(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The lower the socioeconomic status of Israelis – whether Jewish or Arab – the
more likely they are to suffer from poorer health than those of higher incomes
and education levels, according to a study on “Gaps in health and social
peripheries” released for publication by the Health Ministry on
The report, which is more than 200 pages long and contains a
large amount of statistical material, was issued to help decision-makers and
directors of various health organizations to choose target populations for
intervention and reduce the health gaps among them.
Those of low
socioeconomic status do not have to live in the periphery of the country to be
included in this group, the report said.
They may live in the center of
the country but be included in Israel’s “social periphery.”
functioning of poorer Arab populations in taking care of their health is a bit
lower than in the Jewish population of the same socioeconomic levels, but the
health condition of the two sectors is very similar, the report found. Thus the
statistics show that the health condition of Jewish and Arabs can be compared
socioeconomically rather than culturally, it said, adding that income and
education is more relevant to health levels than being part of one cultural or
ethnic group than another.
The government has committed itself to reduce
inequity in the society, first beginning with the mapping of problems that block
improvement and then finding ways to overcome these blockages, the report
Therefore the socioeconomically weak will eventually be able to
enter higher educational institutions, become integrated into better jobs and
adopt a more productive and healthy lifestyle.