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September 29, 1978

Medicine in Israel

Author Affiliations

Oak Park, III

JAMA. 1978;240(14):1481. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290140023007

To the Editor.—  As a former Director of Hospital Services at the Ministry of Health, I read with interest the recent article "Insights Into the Israeli Health Care System: Reflections on a Medical Student's Experience" (239:2355, 1978).The article contains inaccuracies requiring comment. Medical care is not controlled by the Ministry of Health. Israel is a democratic country with multiple health care systems. Providers include labor unions, charity organizations, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and Welfare, municipal and city governments, and the private sector. In 1975, the ownership of all hospital beds (including psychiatric) was as follows1: Ministry of Health, 36%; Kupat Holim (labor union sponsored), 15.5%; municipalities, 6.5%; charities and nonprofit organizations, 17%; and private, 25%.By and large, outpatient clinic and ambulatory curative care is provided by the labor union health insurance plans. The Ministry of Health traditionally provides anything not provided by other