Israel Makes Headway in Medical Tourism Legislation

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Medical travel to Israel has shown significant growth over the years and was recently ranked as the worlds third most popular medical travel destination by VISA and Oxford Economics. Along with this growth the Ministerial Committee approved a bill to regulate and to maintain fairness to Israeli citizens medical tourists and hospitals.

Medical Travel to Israel

The Medical Tourism Bill supported by the Minister of Health has three main principals according to 4Hoteliers.com:

  • Quality of or access to treatment for Israeli citizens must not be lowered and if possible it should be improved.
  • Income received from the medical tourism sector must be directed to improving the public health system.
  • The medical tourist must be protected. The bill will ensure that the foreign patient is given ethical professional and fair treatment.

In order to achieve these principals certain actions will need to be put into action including regulations and obligations of medical tourism agents and hospitals.

For medical tourism agents the goal is to maintain fairness towards the patient and medical facility[1]. This includes the following:

  • Confidentiality
  • Proper consent forms
  • Price transparency
  • Prohibitions on communication with physicians and patients

Hospitals have their own list of requirements including:

  • There are restrictions on the total number of medical tourists that can be present in a particular hospital. This is designed to ensure that the quality care standards for Israeli citizens is not compromised.
  • Hospitals interested in attracting medical tourists must develop infrastructure for sending data to the Ministry of Health so that regulations can be properly monitored.
  • Income from medical tourists will be utilized to improve the public healthcare system. Therefore hospitals must show economic flow in a transparent manner in order to properly track the revenues gained from medical tourism.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post the Tourism Minister is pleased by the vote and sites multiple reasons such as medical travel to Israel is a profitable export industry which brings in foreign currency supplies taxes and employment and has provided a financial boost to medical institutions.

Sources:

[1] http://www.4hoteliers.com/news/story/16506?awsb_c=rss&awsb_k=xfeed