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 considered to be children requiring special medical treatment and are thus entitled to a Disabled Child Benefit. For more information, see: Disabled Child Benefit and Related Benefits.
- Children are entitled to receive Specialized Medical Service at the National Center for renal failure in children. For a list of which centers provide this service, see The Ministry of Health's English website.
- The Jordan River Village offers a free of charge vacation for children dealing with a chronic illness.
- Parents of the child are likely eligible for Sick Days Due to an Ill Child.
Rights specific to Adults
- Patients whose medical disability has been determined (see Disability determination for renal failure patients), can also be entitled to various other rights which are not dependent on their disability benefits.
- Patients whose earning capacity has been impacted, may be eligible for a General Disability Pension. For more information, see: Disability Pension and Related Benefits.
- General Disability Pension recipients 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.
- One who has reached retirement age and requires assistance in daily activities, is likely eligible for a Long-Term Care Benefit.
Additional Rights and Benefits
- Discount on Bezeq Telephone Fees for Dialysis Patients
- The spouse of a dialysis patient may be entitled to additional sick days.
- Israel National Association for Renal Transplant Recipients and Dialysis Patients
- Israel National Kidney Foundation
- Tikva Umarpe for pediatric dialysis, kidney transplant, and nephrology patients.
- For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.
- Maccabi Health Services: Rights for policyholders undergoing dialysis treatments
- The Israeli National Kidney Transplantees and Dialysis Patients Association: Rights for dialysis patients