Research Scholar, Health Team (Systems Group)
Research scholar, Health Team, Systems Group, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute (MJB), Israel’s leading center for applied social research.
Dr. Ruth Waitzberg has worked at MJB since 2010. Her primary research areas are: payment to health providers and financial incentives, health insurance, service organization, health and long-term nursing care systems, and international comparisons.
Ruth is Israel’s national representative to the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Originally from Brazil, Ruth is proficient in several languages, which she puts to excellent use networking with other health policy professionals at the annual Observatory conferences, where she meets with colleagues to share her experience and gain new insights on pressing policy challenges in Israel. Ruth also provides regular updates to The Health Systems and Policy Monitor on Israel’s health reforms and policy changes, and she authors professional publications, such as Health Systems in Transition, a review that provides a detailed description of the country’s health system and of reform and policy initiatives in progress or under development. Ruth edits for two journals: Health Policy Open and Israel Journal of Health Policy Research.
Ruth is a research fellow at the Technische Universität Berlin. She holds a BA in sociology, anthropology and political science and an MA in public policy, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a joint PhD in Health Systems Management from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin).
She can be contacted at [email protected]
Public health in Europe in times of COVID-19: Country snapshot on the role of public health agencies and services in Israel in the response to the pandemic
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the disease caused by the coronavirus a pandemic. This document examines the role of Israeli public healthcare agencies and services in the response to the pandemic in the first year following its outbreak.
Reforms, Trends and Planning in the Healthcare Systems of Europe, Canada and the United States, 2020–2022
The Strategic and Economic Planning Authority within the Israeli Ministry of Health is currently formulating a strategic plan. It has requested the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute to screen the healthcare systems in Europe, Canada and the US in order to identify strategic foci, that is, the issues that these healthcare systems are dealing with and those that they are planning to deal with from 2022 and on, as well as the main reforms and changes carried out during the years 2020–21.
Examination of Medical Residents’ Working Hours – Literature Review and International Comparison
The objectives of this study were (1) to review the evidence regarding the maximum work hours of medical residents and their impact on the quality of care and the quality of work life for the trainees; (2) to present up-to-date data on the regulations and work hours in practice of residents in OECD countries; and (3) to identify successful models of relevance to Israel.
Regulatory Mechanisms for the Purchase and Use of Expensive Imaging Technologies: An International Comparison
The goals of this study were: (1) to review the mechanisms used by various countries to regulate the purchase and use of expensive imaging technologies and to examine the effect of these mechanisms on the expenditure on health care, the quality of care, and the access to imaging services; (2) to offer the Ministry of Health recommendations on regulatory mechanisms that would enable the purchase of expensive imaging technologies constraining the growth of expenditure on health care and without undermining the quality of care or access to services; (3) to reevaluate the suitability of the Certificate of Need (CoN) mechanism currently used in Israel.
Why and how did Israel adopt activity-based hospital payment? The Procedure-Related Group incremental reform
Since 2002, Israel has been adopting "Procedure-Related Group" (PRG) as hospital payments. It also set consistent costing and pricing mechanisms. One objective was to improve regulators’ capacity to set policy, supervise and control. Regulators, purchasers and providers were involved in the designing the reform. PRGs are a simple alternative to DRGs when no sufficient data is available.
Low-Budget Policy Tool to Empower Israeli Insureds to Demand their Rights in the Healthcare System
Since 1995 universal healthcare coverage has been provided in Israel through National Health Insurance (NHI). Although the country has lower rates of health spending than most OECD countries, the NHI Law stipulates that a broad benefits package will be provided by four competing Health Plans (HPs). These third-party payers manage healthcare utilization and cost through […]
Public Opinion on the Level of Service and Performance of the Health-Care System in 2007 and in Comparison with Previous Years
This is the seventh in the series of the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute biennial survey of the level and performance of health-care services from the perspective of service consumers. This report presents an in-depth analysis of the findings, comparing health plans as well as different population groups.
Mental Distress and Patterns of Getting Help Prior to the Transfer of Responsibility for Mental Health to the Health Plans: A Service Consumers’ Perspective
In light of the planned reform of mental-health services, including transferring service provision to the health plans, the Institute added a section on mental health to its periodic survey of the public opinion on health-care services.
Ash, N., Triki, N., & Waitzberg, R. (2023). The COVID-19 pandemic posed many dilemmas for policymakers, which sometimes resulted in unprecedented decision-making. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 12, 13. doi.org/10.1186/s13584-023-00564-x
Breuer, R. M., Waitzberg, R., Breuer, A., Cram, P., Bryndova, L., Williams, G. A., … & Rose, A. J. (2023). Work like a Doc: A comparison of regulations on residents’ working hours in 14 high-income countries. Health Policy. doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2023.104753
Cacace, M., Böcken, J., Edquist, K., Klenk, T., Martinez-Jimenez, M., Preusker, U., Vrangbaek, K., & Waitzberg, R. (2023). Coping with COVID-19: The role of hospital care structures and capacity expansion in five countries. Health Economics, Policy and Law, 1-18. doi.org/10.1017/S1744133122000275
Cardinaal, E., Dubas-Jakobczyk, K., Behmane, D., Bryndova, L., Cascini, F., Duighuisen, H., Davidovitch, N., Waitzberg, R., & Jeurissen, P. (2022) Governance of Academic Medical Centres in Changing Healthcare Systems: An International Comparison. Health policy. doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2022.04.011
Waitzberg, R., Quentin, W., Busse, R., & Greenberg, D. (2022). Dual agency: a fresh perspective to identify dilemma mitigation strategies – a response to the recent commentaries. International Journal of Health Policy and Management. doi.org/10.34172/ijhpm.2022.7758
Rosenthal, A., & Waitzberg, R. (2022) The challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic to health systems exposed pre-existing gaps. Editorial of the special issue: SI: COVID-19 health policies in middle- and low-income countries, Edited by Ruth Waitzberg and Anat Rosenthal. Health Policy Open. doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hpopen.2022.100088
Waitzberg, R., Siegel, M., Quentin, W., Busse, R., & Greenberg, D. (2022). It probably worked: a Bayesian approach to evaluating the introduction of activity-based hospital payment in Israel. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 11, 8. doi.org/10.1186/s13584-022-00515-y
Waitzberg, R., Triki, N., Alroy-Preis, S., Lotan, T., Shiran, L., & Ash, N. (2021). The Israeli Experience withthe “Green Pass” Policy Highlights Issues to Be Considered by Policymakers in Other Countries. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(21), 1212. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111212
Waitzberg, R., Sophie, G., Dimova, A., Bryndová, L., Vrangbæk, K., Jervelund, S. S., Birk, H.O., Rajan, S., Habicht, T., Tynkkynen, L.K., Keskimäki, I., Or, Z., Gandré, C., Winkelmann,J., Ricciardi, W., De Belvis, A.G., Poscia, A., Morsella, A.,Slapšinskaitė, A.,… Quentin, W. (2021). Balancing financial incentives during COVID-19: a comparison of provider payment adjustments across 20 countries. Health Policy. doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2021.09.015
Waitzberg, R., Hernández-Quevedo, C., Bernal-Delgado, E., Estupiñán-Romero, F., Angulo-Pueyo, E., Theodorou, M., Kantaris, M., Charalambous, C., Gabriel, E., Economou,C., Kaitelidou, D., Konstantakopoulou, O., Vildiridi, L.V., Meshulam,A., De Belvis, A.G., Morsella, A., Bezzina, A., Vincenti, K., Augusto, G.F.,… Maresso, A. (2021). COVID-19 pandemic health system responses in the Mediterranean countries: a tale of successes and challenges. Health Policy. doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2021.10.007
Tille, F., Panteli, D., Fahy, N., Waitzberg, R., Davidovitch, N., & Degelsegger-Márquez, A. (2021). Governing the public-private-partnerships of the future: learnings from the experiences in pandemic times. Eurohealth, 27(1), 49-53.
Waitzberg, R., Gottlieb, N., Quentin, W., Busse, R., & Greenberg, D. (2021). Dual Agency in Hospitals: What Strategies Do Managers and Physicians Apply to Reconcile Dilemmas Between Clinical and Economic Considerations? International Journal of Health Policy and Management. doi.org/10.34172/ijhpm.2021.87
Rosen, B., Waitzberg, R., Israeli, A., Hartal, M., & Davidovitch, N. (2021). Addressing vaccine hesitancy and access barriers to achieve persistent progress in Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination program. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 10, 43. doi.org/10.1186/s13584-021-00481-x
Waitzberg, R., Quentin, W., Webb, E., & Glied, S. (2021). The Structure and Financing of Health Care Systems Affected How Providers Coped With COVID-19. The Milbank Quarterly. doi.org/10.1111/1468-0009.12530
Polin, K., Hjortland, M., Maresso, A., van Ginneken, E., Busse, R., Quentin, W., & the HSPM network (2021). Major health reforms in 31 high-income countries in 2018 and 2019; expert informed identification, clustering, and analyses over time of” top-three” national reforms. Health Policy. doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2021.04.005
Waitzberg, R., & Davidovitch, N. (2021, February 5). Israel’s vaccination rollout: short term success, but questions for the long run. BMJ Opinion. https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/02/05/israels-vaccination-rollout-short-term-success-but-questions-for-the-long-run
Rosen, B., Waitzberg, R., & Israeli, A. (2021). Israel’s rapid rollout of vaccinations for COVID-19. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 10, 6. doi.org/10.1186/s13584-021-00440-6
Waitzberg, R., Davidovitch, N., Leibner, G., Penn, N. & Brammli-Greenberg, S. (2020). Israel’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic: tailoring measures for vulnerable cultural minority populations. International Journal for Equity in Health, 19(1), 1-5. doi.org/10.1186/s12939-020-01191-7
Waitzberg, R., Quentin, W., Daniels, E., Paldi, Y., Busse, R. & Greenberg, D. (2020). Effects of Activity-Based Hospital Payments in Israel: A Qualitative Evaluation Focusing on the Perspectives of Hospital Managers and Physicians. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, x(x), 1-11. doi.org/10.34172/ijhpm.2020.51
Waitzberg, R., Schmidt, A. E., Blümel, M., Penneau, A., Farmakas, A., Ljungvall, Å., … & Vočanec, D. (2020). Mapping variability in allocation of Long-Term Care funds across payer agencies in OECD countries. Health Policy. doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2020.02.013
Brammli-Greenberg, S., Glazer, J., & Waitzberg, R. (2019). Modest risk-sharing significantly reduces health plans’ incentives for service distortion. The European Journal of Health Economics, 1-16. doi.org/10.1007/s10198-019-01102-w
Waitzberg, R., Quentin, W., Daniels, E., Perman, V., Brammli-Greenberg, S., Busse, R., & Greenberg, D. (2019). The 2010 expansion of activity-based hospital payment in israel: An evaluation of effects at the ward level. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1), 292. doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4083-4
Waitzberg, R., & Merkur, S. (2017). Policy efforts to strengthen public hospitals in Israel. EUROhealth, 23(4), 34.
Brammli-Greenberg, S., Waitzberg, R., Perman, V., & Gamzu, R. (2016). Why and how did Israel adopt activity-based hospital payment? The procedure-related group incremental reform. Health Policy 120(10), 1171-1176. doi:S0168-8510(16)30213-5
Rosen, B., Waitzberg, R., & Merkur, S. (2015). Israel: Health system review. Health Systems in Transition, 17(6), 1-212.
Brammli-Greenberg, S., Waitzberg, R., Medina-Artom, T., & Adijes-Toren, A. (2014). Low-budget policy tool to empower Israeli insureds to demand their rights in the healthcare system. Health Policy, 118(3), 279-284.
Books and Reports
Waitzberg, R., & Shuftan, N. (2022). Health systems in action: Israel. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, WHO Europe. https://eurohealthobservatory.who.int/publications/i/health-systems-in-action-israel-2022
Rosen, B., & Waitzberg, R. (2018). Advancing universal health coverage: What developing countries can learn from the Israeli experience? Washington, DC.: World Bank.
Bramli-Greenberg, S., & Waitzberg, R. (2020). Integrating public and private insurance in the Israeli health system: an attempt to reconcile conflicting values. In S. Thomson, A. Sagan, & E. Mossialos (Eds.), Private Health Insurance: History, Politics and Performance, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, (pp. 264-303). Cambridge University Press. doi.org/10.1017/9781139026468
Ginneken, E, Waitzberg, R. Baenes, A., Quentin, W., Smatana, M. & Rice, T. (2020). Choosing payers: can insurance competition strengthen person-centred care?. In E. Nolte, R. Osborn, S. Merkur, & A. Anell (Eds.), Achieving Person-Centred Health Systems: Evidence, Strategies and Challenges, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, (pp. 229-258). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108855464.012
Waitzberg, R. & Rosen, B. (2020). Israel healthcare system. In R. Tikkanen, R. Osborn, E. Mossialos, A. Djordjevic, & G. A. Wharton (Eds.), International Health Care System Profiles. New York: The Commonwealth Fund.
Rosen, B., & Waitzberg, R. (2017). The Israeli health care system. In E. Mossialos, A. Djordjevic, R. Osborn & D. Sarnak (Eds.), International profiles of health care systems (pp. 85-93). New York: The Commonwealth Fund.
Brammli-Greenberg, S., Waitzberg, R., Perman, V., & Gamzu, R. (2016). How Israel reimburses hospitals based on activity: The procedure-related group (PRG) incremental reform. In OECD (Ed.), Better ways to pay for health care. Paris: OECD Publishing.