The Strategic and Economic Planning Authority in the Ministry of Health is publicizing the fifth annual report on “Health Inequality, and How it is Dealt With, 2014“, with the upcoming annual conference on the topic, which will be held this year in Ashdod. In the framework of the publication, edited by Dr. Emma Averbuch and Shlomit Avni from the Reduction of Health Inequalities Unit in the Ministry, new data are presented regarding inequalities is socioeconomic indices, health inequalities and inequalities in manpower and infrastructures, alongside details of actions and activities of the Ministry of Health, HMOs and hospitals to deal with them:
Socioeconomic inequalities in society are the chief generators of health inequalities. As in previous years, this report also presents data regarding social parameters that influence health:
- Poverty indices remained similar to those recorded in previous years, and showed that approximately one fifth of families (19.4% in 2012) were poor, as well as approximately one quarter of persons (23.5%) and approximately one third of children (33.7%).
- Israel’s relative ranking for poverty rate and for the Geni index (for inequality of income) has become worse as compared to OECD nations, with the calculation being made after taking into account payment of transfers and taxes.
- According to the social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics, 13% of persons in need of medical treatment declined this due to financial difficulties (some 363.1 thousand persons), 11% declined prescription medicines (some 358.9 thousand persons) and 42% declined dental treatment (some 1.4 million persons). Among those declining medications, it was found that for the lowest income category (up to NIS 2,000), the percentage who declined medications was 25%, as compared to 11% of persons in need of medications in households with an income between NIS 2,001 and 4,000 per capita. Among people with per capita income of NIS 4,000 and over, the rate of people declining medicines came to 2.7%. The rate of persons declining medical treatment among persons who are not employed is twice as high as that for persons who are employed (23.7% as compared to 10.1%).