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Israel - Health Service
The system used in Israel takes its roots from the system used during British rule. In 1973 a law was passed which required all employers to provide medical insurance for their workers, by making a payment to the Health Maintenance Fund, which all workers are members of. Another law came into effect in 1995 which meant that all workers had to pay into one of the four health insurances which are available. Each insurance is required to provide a minimum amount of health services and packages and some services were brought under the direct control of the department of health. All workers, regardless of country of origin, are entitled to the same health services provided they are paying into the system.
There are a number of publicly run hospitals and several private hospitals which are available to residents of the country. The facilities and equipment in these hospitals are up to date and the hospitals are staffed by fully trained doctors and nurses, some of whom will have studied at universities in the UK and the USA.
Those going to Israel are advised to ensure that their routine vaccinations are up to date and in addition should have vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B. If you should require regular prescription medication it is a good idea to check in advance if it is available in Israel. It may be that you will need to consult a doctor regularly to obtain your medication or it could be freely available over the counter at a pharmacy. There is also the possibility that it is not available at all, in which case you should consult your own doctor at home to discuss alternatives.
Some health risks in the country, such as West Nile virus, are passed on by insect bites, so it is advisable to regularly use insect repellents to reduce the risks.
The emergency medical service in Israel is called Magen David Adom and this service can be contacted by dialing 101. They can administer emergency medical treatment or provide an ambulance service to the nearest hotel. Those with private medical insurance may be able to make use of a private ambulance service, though details of which service will be provided with details when they join.
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