The credit for these achievements, as has been noted in the past, definitely belongs to the caliber and quality of the system’s personnel and also to the public nature of the health care system.
At the same time, though, the rise in the share of private funding in health care and the system’s growing susceptibility to conventional market failures have meant that the social and economic achievements of the system are being eroded and there are rising concerns that, ultimately, the public’s health will suffer. The private funding of services is claiming a growing portion of the household budget, especially among the low-income quintiles, and is making medical services less accessible due to cost. The cost of services has been rising and the public’s satisfaction with the system has been falling. In this chapter, the increase in private funding as a main health care system issue is examined. As in past years, there is also an assessment of several other issues that, if dealt with appropriately, may help the system to function better and to provide more continuity and better coordinated services.
This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 2005, Yaakov Kop (editor).