Rehabilitation is a treatment stage in an extended healing process, the purpose of which is to improve the specific types of motor and cognitive functioning which were harmed as the result of illness or injury, and to improve patients' independence to allow them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
- The health plans' obligation to provide rehabilitation services is anchored in the second addendum to The National Health Insurance Law.
- The health plans are obligated to inform all patients and their families regarding their rights and the potential to receive rehabilitation services, and also to inform them regarding the existence of organizations and entities that provide assistance.
- The rehabilitation process may be intensive as part of hospitalization, or in the community.
- Rehabilitation patients meeting the criteria to receive rehabilitation as part of hospitalization may be hospitalized for a period of up to 3 months.
- Hospitalization for longer than 3 months is possible with approval from the health plan's professional committee.
Who is Eligible?
- The following are the criteria established by the Ministry of Health for rehabilitation as part of hospitalization for rehabilitation patients:
- If family, social and environmental conditions do not allow for rehabilitation at home or in the community.
- If the patient's medical condition requires constant supervision and prolonged long-term medical care.
- If the patient suffers from motor, cognitive, emotional, linguistic and behavioral disorders, the treatment of which requires professional expertise which is only available as part of a specialized rehabilitation framework.
- If proper rehabilitation cannot be provided in the community.
- Those who cannot walk or stand for a specific period of time will be referred for rehabilitation as part of hospitalization, unless they have consented to rehabilitation in the community and such an option exists.
- Patients who have suffered a stroke or suffer other neurological problems will only be referred for rehabilitation if, according to a functioning test, their functioning appears to have significantly deteriorated.
How to Claim It?
- A referral for rehabilitation is given in the hospital in preparation for release.
- When deciding on the proper rehabilitation framework, patients and their families must be included in the process, and their preferences must be considered.
- A doctor specializing in geriatrics or a rehabilitation specialist in the hospital will make the decision regarding provision of rehabilitation services and its objectives, in consultation with a representative of the hospital's multi-disciplinary staff.
- The decision regarding rehabilitation will be provided to the health plan, the patient and the patient's family at least 2 days before release from the hospital ward.
- A health plan representative will examine the hospital recommendation and provide a response within 2 business days. A disagreement with the hospital recommendation must be accompanied by a detailed and documented explanation, as well as details regarding the proposed alternatives for the patient.
- Patients living far from their families and children may request to move to a rehabilitation unit closer to where they live.
Health Plan Refusal to Approve Hospitalization
- When a relevant hospital authority decides that a patient requires rehabilitation as part of hospitalization and the health plan refuses to accept this decision and does not approve continued hospitalization, the patient may do one of the following:
- Request a rehabilitation assessment as part of the rehabilitation
- Request a second medical opinion from a doctor specializing in geriatrics or rehabilitation who is accepted and agreeable to the health plan
- Any disagreement or refusal must be detailed and explained
Information for Patients
- Patients must be given full information regarding potential sources of assistance during the rehabilitation process.
- A health plan representative must update patients regarding the rights to which they are entitled by law, including the possibility of contacting departments responsible for claiming rights in the health plan and the Ministry of Health, as well as the possibility of submitting a claim to a labor court, as detailed in the National Health Insurance Law.
- At every stage of the rehabilitation process and at its conclusion, full information must be given to patients, and they must be included in and consent to every part of the process.
- The fact that a patient has pressure sores or is fed by means of a feeding tube are not reasons to abstain from providing rehabilitation services.
- All decisions made concerning rehabilitation services must be explained and documented.
- The Society for Patients Rights in Israel operates a free advising service regarding rehabilitation.
- The Kivunim Center for Medical Rights
- Click here for a full list of government agencies responsible for issues related to old age and aging
- Main government agencies:
|Government Agency||Website||Rights and Areas of Responsibility|
|*8840 Ministry for Social Equality - Hotline for Public Inquiries||Ministry for Social Equality website||The hotline run by the Ministry for Social Equality gives the elderly a central address to direct all of their questions, provide information regarding rights, services and benefits entitled to the elderly. It also helps them actualize these rights.|
|The National Insurance Institutehotlines -||Senior Citizens' Rights on the National Insurance Institute's website.||Rights to various allowances given based on age and economic situation.|
|The National Insurance Institute's Call Center for Senior Citizen Counseling Serviceshotline -||Senior Citizens' Rights on the National Insurance Institute's website.||Free aid provided through counseling services for senior citizens and the call center|
|The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services
||Senior Citizens on the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services website||Funding of Nursing Homes for independent and frail seniors. Various services are also provided within the community.|
|The Ministry of Health||Senior Health on the Ministry of Health website.||Health Insurance and assistance for those suffering from age related health problems.|
|*5442 The Ministry of Housing and Construction Call Center||The Ministry of Construction and Housing website||Housing Assistance and Problem Solving for Senior Citizens|
|Equal Employment Opportunities Commission- 02-6662701||Equal Employment Opportunities Commission website]||The commission responsible for enforcing equality in the workplace and for handling cases of prohibited discrimination.|
|The Population and Immigration Authority - *3450||Population and Immigration Authority website||Treatment of foreign workers, responsible for giving permits for the employment of foreign workers, managing the financial deposits that employers of foreign workers are required to deposit, oversight of the entrance and exit of foreign workers into Israel, issuing a death certificate, and updating the Population authority.|
Laws and Regulations
- Ministry of Health Director Circular 4/2009 from 14.01.2009 - Criteria for providing rehabilitative care to the elderly
- Original information written as part of Dr. Nili Karako Eyal's course at the College of Management's Mazor Clinical Center - Providing Legal Advice Regarding Patients Rights in Israel.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.