Key Findings from a National Survey of Mothers Regarding Preventive Health Services for Children in the “Tipat Halav” Framework

Preventive maternal and child health services are cornerstones of Israel’s efforts to ensure population health. At present, the main provider of these services is the Ministry of Health, with the health plans and the municipalities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv also playing important roles in service provision, and taking care of a considerable sector of the population.

In 2004, the Government of Israel decided to carry out a pilot in which, in selected localities, the responsibility for preventive maternal and child health services would be transferred from the Ministry of Health and the municipalities to the health plans. At the request of the Ministries of Health and Finance, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute began carrying out a multi-dimensional evaluation of the planned pilot.

As part of that evaluation effort, a national phone survey of mothers was carried out in early 2006.  The objective of the survey was to assess, on the eve of the pilot, consumer perspectives on the level of service and the extent to which selected service standards were being met at the national level. In addition, the survey sought to assess differences among various population groups and providers. Moreover, the survey examined the extent to which the localities which had been chosen to participate in the pilot (Elad, Modiin and Tel Aviv) provided a sound basis for learning and comparisons.

The main topics covered in the survey were: immunizations, developmental tests, visits, counseling, parenting behavior, and client satisfaction overall, as well as client satisfaction with various aspects of the service. The report includes information on each of these topics for the country as a whole as well as comparisons by income, population group, and health-care provider.

The pilot was frozen in February 2007. Nonetheless, the survey’s findings can contribute significantly to the planning and development of the preventive services in the future, irrespective of who provides them.

In the next stage of the project, data will be collected on a number of important topics which, by their nature, could not be examined through a survey (such as staffing levels and the extent of community-level activities) and the quality of their information systems. These topics will be examined through analyses of existing administrative data and in-depth interviews of the relevant managers.

The study was funded by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance.

Citations in the professional and academic literature

Armon, R. (2016). Expert positions and scientific contexts: Storying research in the news media. Discourse & Communication10(1), 3-21.

Kaidar, N., & Rosen, B. Well-baby care: no more co-payments.

Sarid, O., Shraga, Y., Cwikel, J., & Reuveni, H. (2018). Ethno-cultural origins, health beliefs and mothers’ behavior regarding infant vaccinations in Israel. Health promotion international.