Sunday, June 29, 2014

Free Healthcare?

I think whoever designed the Israeli Health Care system must have worked in concert with the person who created the tax system.

I outlined how Israel frustrates workers and steals money here:

Now I'd like to tell you my experience with the health care system.

Most of the time it functions. It's national single payer health care so you accept that system doesn't offer the latest medicines, off label usage, or easy access to expensive testing (MRI). Most of the time you get a doctor's appointment - specialists can take weeks to months.

This reasonable though not exemplary system, functions. You pay for this middling level of care with high taxes.

Emergency care - that's our issue.

Before seeking emergency care you have to get a form 17, basically a permission slip from the health care organization permitting you to go to the emergency room. Given that its an emergency and you may not be in a position to acquire this form beforehand, they allow you to request the form after you go to the emergency room.

My first run-in with requesting a form 17 after the fact came when my wife was 9 months pregnant. It was 2am and she felt something like contractions. We grabbed our stuff and went to the hospital. Turned out not to be contractions and it was a whole week before we went back and she delivered.

But because there were no contractions our form 17 request was denied. We had to pay out of pocket for the hospital visit - almost 1000nis.

I chalked it up to a one time bad luck situation. A loophole that we got caught in but won't get caught in agains.

But today I was informed again that our form 17 was denied, and 2 times makes a pattern.

When my baby was 6 months old he fell off the bed. The bed wasn't high and he landed on a pillow and seemed fine, but omg, he was 6 and fell off a bed.

So we rushed to the hospital.

Baby was all fine, just a swollen lip.

The next day we requested a form 17. Today we were informed that because nothing had happened to him, he hadn't suffered any damage, we should have waited 24 hours and if there was a problem then we should've gone to the hospital.

And we will have to pay out of pocket again.  This is free healthcare?

#singleprayer #Healthcare #Israel #badmedicine #chasingmeoutofisrael

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