Public Opinion on the Level of Service and Performance of the Health System in 2003, in Comparison to Previous Years

Since the implementation of the National Health Insurance Law in 1995, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute has been studying the performance of the health system from the consumers’ perspective. The surveys, which are conducted every two years, monitor the degree to which the law’s principal goals – improved quality of health services and increased equality among population groups – have been attained.

The survey, which was conducted in 2003 and whose findings are presented in this report, is the fifth in the series (previous surveys were conducted in 2001, 1999, 1997 and 1995).

This report examines the functioning of the health system over time from the consumer’s perspective, and according to consumers’ reports. The findings of the survey have been broadly disseminated, and were presented in early 2004 to the Minister of Health and the administration of that ministry, the members of the Health Council, and health plan senior managers; key findings have also been quoted in Knesset committees and by the media. This report expands on that initial analysis, and addresses in more detail major issues in the functioning of the health system. The following are among them:

  • Trends in the level of services during a period of cost containment
  • Equality among populations in satisfaction with, and accessibility to, services
  • Out-of-pocket payments and financial burden
  • Forfeiting medical treatment and prescription medications because of the cost
  • Health plans’ cost containment actions
  • Patients’ opinions of family physicians and health promotion activities
  • Dissemination of information to the public and the level of information that the public possesses about its rights
  • Public assessment of the health system’s functioning and concerns for the future

The importance of the study lies in its providing ongoing information, which helps policymakers monitor system performance, with the aim of examining the effect of the change, identifying trends that are desirable and should be reinforced and undesirable side effects that require special attention. The study gives voice to the opinions of consumers, and thus makes it possible to consider them when setting policy.

This report was written in the framework of the Cooperative Program in Health Policy Research of the government of Israel and the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, and was funded with the assistance of the Ministry of Health, Clalit Health Services, Maccabi Healthcare Services, the Leumit Health Fund, and Meuhedet Health Services.

Citations in the professional and academic literature

Shadmi, E., Zisberg, A., & Coleman, E. A. (2009). Translation and validation of the Care Transition Measure into Hebrew and Arabic. International Journal for Quality in Health Care21(2), 97-102.

Gross, R., Brammli-Greenberg, S., Tabenkin, H., & Benbassat, J. (2007). Primary care physicians’ discussion of emotional distress and patient satisfaction. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine37(3), 331-345.

Rosen, B., Brammli‐Greenberg, S., Gross, R., & Feldman, R. (2011). When co‐payments for physician visits can affect supply as well as demand: findings from a natural experiment in Israel’s national health insurance system. The International journal of health planning and management26(2), e68-e84.

Shmueli, A., & Nissan-Engelcin, E. (2013). Local availability of physicians’ services as a tool for implicit risk selection. Social Science & Medicine84, 53-60.

Sax, P., & Shmueli, A. (2010). Impact of pharmaceutical regulation and policies on health system performance goals in Israel. In Pharmaceutical Markets and Insurance Worldwide(pp. 77-101). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Chernichovsky, D., Koreh, M., Soffer, S., & Avrami, S. (2010). Long-term care in Israel: Challenges and reform options. Health policy96(3), 217-225.