Israel’s health system has been in the news lately but it hasn’t been good news. Today, with the OECD health study results, these complaints have quantifiable numbers to back them. According to the study Israel has the same 3.4 doctors per thousand as the European average. But outside of that number, all other statistics about Israeli healthcare lag far behind the rest of Europe.
The number of nurses is not only low at 4.9 per thousand, it is actually shrinking further. Israel is 6th from the bottom with this statistic and Switzerland has 18 nurses per thousand for comparison sake.
Medical School graduates in Israel are 5.5 per hundred thousand compared to the European average of 12.1 giving Israel the dubious distinction of last place in this parameter.
Israel has 2.3 hospital beds per thousand compared to 3.7 beds in other western countries. Japan leads this category with 7.9 beds per thousand.
In Israel there are 4.2 MRI imaging machines per million and 9.9 C.T. machines per million. In Europe the average is 15 MRI machines per million and 25.6 C.T. machines per million.
Health habits in Israel are also poor. Israel averages 25 anti-biotic treatment series’ per thousand per year as opposed to the European average of 22 (less is better in this parameter). Holland (the world capital in mercy killings) uses extremely little anti-biotics at 10 treatments per thousand per year. Israel has 19.6% smokers from age 15 and up and this number is rising compared to Europe’s 18.4%
There are a lot of positive statistics in Israel too! Caesarian births are 162 per thousand births whereas the European average is 281 per thousand. Israelis drink only 2.6 liters of alcohol annually as opposed to the European average of 8.9 liters annually. As far as obesity goes, Israel’s 16.6% of the population is a drop under the European average of 16.7%.
Israel invests 7.4% of its gross national product on its health system, Europe spends 8.9% and the US leads at 16.9% of the GNP. What is astounding is the fact that in spite of Israel’s low investment in healthcare, in spite of its understaffed and underequipped health system, and in spite of Israelis poor health habits, longevity in Israel is of the highest in the world! Life expectancy in Israel is 82.1 years as opposed to the European average of 80.5 years. Very few countries have a higher life expectancy including Switzerland -83 years, Spain-83 years and Japan- 83.9 years. In baby deaths Israel is on the low side with only 3.1 deaths per thousand births. The western average is 3.8 per thousand and in mexico the death rate is 12.5 per thousand.
The Ministry of Health supervisor, Moshe Bar Siman-Tov says in conclusion that these statistics show a complex picture which at any rate shows the need for great improvement in medical investment and infrastructure.