Israelis happy with health care... apart from the waiting

CBS survey finds 85% of those hospitalized pleased with medical care.

waiting room 88 (photo credit: )
waiting room 88
(photo credit: )
Most Israelis are satisfied with public health services, but their main complaint concerns the amount of time they spend waiting in hospital emergency rooms. These were among the findings of the Central Bureau of Statistics's Social Survey 2007: Public Attitudes Towards Health Services, which was released on Thursday. In a representative sample of Israelis aged 20 and over, 90 percent said they had had contact with the health system in the pervious year: Eighty percent had visited at least one doctor; 45% had accompanied someone to an emergency room; and 15% had themselves sought treatment at an emergency room or been hospitalized. Of those who had been hospitalized, 85% were pleased with the medical care they had received, 87% were pleased with the doctors and nurses, and three-quarters were pleased with the physical facilities. Among those who had been to an emergency room, however, only 73% - a decline since the previous poll - were satisfied with the attitude or behavior of the medical staff. Half complained about long waiting times. Of those who had visited a primary care physician or specialist, 93% were satisfied with the doctor's attitude, 88% were satisfied with the clinic's location, and 82% were satisfied with the reception hours. Two-thirds of the respondents - 89% among Israeli Arabs, but only 63% among Jews - said the health system functioned well. Lower-income groups and those who had immigrated since 1990 expressed higher levels of satisfaction than did higher-income groups and native-born Israelis. One in six said they had used private health services (SHARAP). Meanwhile, Health Minister Ya'acov Ben-Yizri has instructed his director-general, Prof. Avi Yisraeli, to examine the functioning of emergency teams that evacuated the victims of Tuesday's tourist bus crash north of Eilat, as well as the performance of the hospitals that received them. During a visit to crash survivors at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center near Rishon Lezion on Thursday, Ben-Yizri heard praise for the treatment they had received. Nonetheless, he said he wanted to look into the performance of both the emergency personnel and the hospitals, and asked that the results of the examination be ready within two weeks.