(photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM JERUSALEM)
The rate of visits to general hospital emergency rooms was 356 per 1,000 residents from 2011 to 2013, with two-thirds of them due to illness, a quarter due to external causes (road and home accidents, falls, and so on) and a tenth due to women about to give birth, according to the Health Ministry.
In its statistical report issued on Wednesday according to geographical differences, it found that of the 28 hospitals around the country, emergency room visits were most common in the North. The rate depends on demographic elements such as the type of population (the Arab sector is more likely to need emergency rooms than the Jewish sector), the socioeconomic level, distance from hospitals, and whether urgent care community facilities (such as the private chain Terem) are available in the area.
The lowest rate of going to hospital emergency rooms was in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, as there are two Terem clinics in the capital itself and another in the vicinity.
Only if the private urgent care clinic cannot deal with the emergency because of its severity do patients get referrals to hospitals. The statistics did not include emergency rooms in eastern Jerusalem hospitals.
Visits to emergency rooms in the northern district were 1.19 times the national average (not including women for giving birth): 1.24 times higher due to illness, 1.21 times higher due to external causes, 1.34 times due to unintentional injuries and 1.46 times due to road accidents.
The rate was significantly lower in Tel Aviv (1.01), Haifa (1.03), the Center (1.04) and the South (1.06) compared to the national average.