Truth to tell, even before the law was enacted the health system suffered from ongoing crises, but this law was intended to solve the system’s problems, at least from the financial standpoint, and has not done so. One of the salient parameters of the health system during these years has been the continual and consistent attempts by the government to cut back its budgetary involvement and increase the public’s share in the funding of national health expenditure.
In our review this year, the presentation of health expenditures has been modified in order to bring it closer to the changes that have occurred in the past few years in the structure of system funding. One of the main changes was the elimination of health-fund membership dues and their replacement by the health tax. According to the principles of national accounting, there is an essential difference between these two types of levies: the former is voluntary, the latter obligatory. In the course of the changeover, various parameters of course changed, leading to a different incidence of funding. However, to permit a multi-annual comparative survey, the health tax can be presented as the successor of the direct private insurance (membership dues) in effect before the passage of the law. Accordingly, this study does not include National Insurance transfers on account of the health tax as part of government expenditure.
This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, Israel’s Social Services 1998-99, Yaakov Kop (editor).