Every person, regardless of their civil status, is entitled to receive emergency medical care in an emergency situation and/or if facing serious danger, independent of any preconditions (such as requiring some sort of obligation on the part of the patient).
- Emergency situation - Defined in the law as any circumstance where someone finds him/herself facing immediate threat to their life or there is an immediate threat which could lead to irreversible disability in the absence of urgent medical care.
- Serious Danger - Defined in the law as any circumstance where someone finds him/herself facing threat to their life or there is a threat which could lead to irreversible disability in the absence of medical care.
- When requested to provided care in emergency situations or when there is severe threat to life or limb, the treating medical professional and the medical facility must examine the individual requesting care and provide care to the best of their abilities. This obligation applies not only to doctors, but to all healthcare workers including nurses, psychologists, interns, etc., each according to their own professional skills.
- The law does not require that the care be given at no cost. Anyone who is not a resident (covered by the National Health Insurance Law) or have private insurance, will be required to pay for the hospitalization costs. By law, in emergency situations where urgent medical care is required, the care must first be provided and only afterwards are payment terms arranged.
Patient Referral to an Appropriate Medical Facility
- If a treating medical professional or medical facility is unable to treat a patient in an emergency situation or in serious danger, they must, to the best of their ability, refer the patient to a facility that is able to provide appropriate care.
Who is Eligible?
How to Claim It?
- Those who believe that they are in need of emergency medical care should arrive at a hospital and demand a medical examination. Only a doctor may determine if it is an emergency situation and/or if the patient is in serious danger; The administrative staff (receptionists, medical secretaries, etc.) are not qualified to make this determination.
- The law does not detail which situations constitute a medical emergency.
- If it is unclear if it is an emergency situation and/or serious danger, it is recommended to see a doctor in order to determine if there is a need to go to the hospital.
- Hospitals may sue individuals or first-degree family members for payment of hospitalization or medical treatment costs.
- The existence of an outstanding hospitalization debt cannot constitute a condition for refusing re-admission in emergency medical situations or cases where there is severe threat to life or limb.
- For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.
- The Ministry of Health
- "Kol Habriut" - The Ministry of Health's telephone hotline *5400.
- The National Insurance Institute
- The National Health Insurance Law Ombudsman
Laws and Regulations
- Director Circular 09/06 from 03.04.2006 - Patient Bill of Rights from the perspective of the treating medical care provider's obligations.
- Amnon Carmi, Healthcare and Law (2003)
- Original information written by the IMA.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.