The existence of medical tourism, without control and supervision, is liable to harm Israeli patients. Therefore, we welcome the Ministry of Health’s decision to establish a committee to establish rules and procedures for medical tourism that will ensure that no harm will come to Israeli treatment and/or availability as the result of medical tourism.
The following are some of the points that the Coalition of Healthcare Rights Organizations are requesting be included in the binding rules to be established:
Basic Conditions – Medical tourism activity must be allowed within the existing framework, only in hospitals with infrastructure and man power beyond the regular working hours.
Supervision – It is the Ministry of Health’s responsibility to determine rules for supervising and strictly implementing the procedures that will be determined.
Lodging Conditions – Tourists shall not be given preference over Israeli citizens with regard to their lodging conditions in public hospitals.
Publication of Queue Information – At the meeting, among other things, a recommendation was made to determine the queue based on the additional man power and resources of the hospital, and to ensure that an Israeli patient’s care is not delayed. In order to implement this recommendation, we propose that once per quarter, the hospitals publish the existing queue for surgeries/treatments on their website, according to a list to be determined by the Ministry of Health. This publication will ensure that it may be checked and verified that the tourist was not treated at the place of someone else in the queue.
Determination of Types of Patients who May Not be Accepted from Abroad – There are certain types of illnesses for which it is know that there is a shortage of beds and/or bottlenecking in the queue during the waiting period and/or shortage of man power and/or who are liable to endanger the health of those around them. Accordingly, it is important to include in the regulations, the types of patients which the hospital cannot accept as tourists, such as: those requiring an intensive treatment bed, premature babies, TB patients, AIDS patients, those receiving radiation treatments, etc.
Publication of the Extension of the Treatment – In order to ensure supervision of the hospitals, they must be required to publish certain data on their websites once per quarter, such as the types of illnesses they treated, the turnover and how many patients of each illness they treated.
Click here to view the letter sent by the Coalition of Healthcare Rights Organizations to the Ministry of Health regarding the implementation of medical tourism regulations (in Hebrew)
Click here to view a presentation entitled, “Who is Medical Tourism Healing?” from Prof. Gabi Ben Nun from Ben Gurion University’s Department of Healthcare System Management (in Hebrew)
Translated by The Shira Pransky Project