Kidney disease can develop acutely or chronically and can cause a decline in kidney function.
- Acute kidney failure occurs when there is a sudden injury to the kidneys (such as from an injury or from certain toxic substances). This situation is generally reversible and the kidneys can return to their normal functioning.
- Chronic kidney failure is when there is a chronic injury that can cause a gradual decline in kidney function and cause damage to organ functions and other systems in the body. Patients may suffer from fatigue, decreased work capacity, anemia, nausea, vomiting, and foot edema and heart failure.
- If the condition becomes more severe and the patient's life is in danger, an alternative for a non-functioning kidney must be used. The options are dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant. For more information see Organ Transplants.
Medications and Healthcare
- Kidney failure being treated by dialysis is found on the Ministry of Health's list of serious illnesses, therefore such patients are eligible for exemption from payment for medications and various medical services.
- Dialysis patients and other patients who take prescription medications for more than 6 consecutive months are defined as chronically ill and are therefore eligible for a medication payment ceiling for purchasing medications included in the healthcare basket. It is recommended to only use this right as a supplement to the exemption from payment for medications (in accordance with each health plan's procedures).
- Additionally there is a Payment Ceiling for Medical Foods/Nutraceuticals included in the healthcare basket for kidney patients and that are prescribed by a doctor or clinical dietitian. (In certain cases the patient may be eligible for aid in financing from the Ministry of Social Services for items not in the healthcare basket.)
- Dialysis patients who go to the emergency room are exempt from emergency room and treatment costs.
- Dialysis patients receive Coverage of Travel Expenses for Medical Treatment.
- According to the regulations of the Ministry of Health, dialysis patients are exempt from hospital parking fees (government hospitals).
- The Health Funds are obligated to maintain the continuity of care for dialysis patients even in cases where the arrangements between the healthcare fund and the treatment facilities change. For more information see Maintaining Continuity of Care (Principle of Treatment Continuity).
- Dialysis patients who travel abroad: According to an arrangement with the healthcare funds, dialysis patients are entitled to be reimbursed for dialysis treatments abroad for the amount that the treatment would cost in Israel. Reimbursement requires showing receipt of payment and advanced coordination with the health fund.
- Children with kidney failure are entitled to receive Specialized Medical Service at various centers throughout the country. For a list of centers providing this service see the Ministry of Health website.
Disability and Pensions
Disabled Child Benefit
- Children undergoing regular dialysis treatment are entitled to a Disabled Child Benefit. Beginning in August 2016, they were entitled for a pension at a rate of 188% (4,501 NIS per month, right as of 2018).
- For more information on receiving the pension see: Disabled Child Benefit for Children on Dialysis Treatment.
- For information on various rights that come with the disabled child benefit see:
General Disability Pension
- When kidney patients make a claim for general disability their level of medical disability is determined. For more information see Determining Disability for People with Kidney Disease.
- In addition to establishing medical disability, eligibility for a disability pension is contingent on Establishing the Degree of Incapacity to be at least 50%.
- There are other rights given because of medical disability which are not dependent on eligibility for a disability pension.
- For more information, see: Disability Pension and Related Benefits.
Special Services Benefit
- Patients undergoing dialysis treatment at least twice per week, may be entitled to a Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance) in accordance with the conditions of eligibility.
- For more information see Special Services Benefit (Attendance Allowance) and Related Benefits.
- Kidney patients who suffer from disability in their legs and have limited ability to walk are eligible for a Mobility Benefit which includes a pension, a loan to purchase a car and other benefits including: Assistance Performing Housing Modifications for People with Limited Mobility, and Medical and Rehabilitation Equipment Acquisition.
Long-Term Care Benefit
- One who has reached retirement age and requires assistance in daily activities, is likely eligible for a Long-Term Care Benefit.
- The benefit is given in the form of services but in certain circumstances a Monetary Long-Term Care Benefit to Hire a Caregiver may be given.
- For kidney patients being treated permanently with peritoneal and hemodynamic dialysis, eligibility for a first-level benefit may be determined solely on the basis of medical documents, without the need to undergo a dependency test. For more information, see Fast Track Without Dependency Check (ADL) in the Long Term Care Benefit Claim.
Additional Rights and Benefits
- In accordance with the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety, dialysis patients are eligible for a disabled parking permit.
- Dialysis patients are entitled to Discount on Bezeq Telephone Fees.
- Children absent from school for over 50% of their classroom learning hours because of out patient hospital treatments are entitled to Distance Education Support for Homebound Children.
- Parents of children up to age 18 who are dialysis patients are entitled to be absent up to 90 days during the year and have the days count as either their sick days or vacation days.
- The spouse of a dialysis patient may be entitled to Sick Days Due to an Ill Spouse.
- Israel National Association for Renal Transplant Recipients and Dialysis Patients
- Israel National Kidney Foundation
- "Matnat Chayim"Volunteers for KidneyTransplants
- Tikva Umarpe for pediatric dialysis, kidney transplant, and nephrology patients.
- For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.
- Kidneys - Transplants and Disalysis on the Society for Patient Rights in Israel
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.