Payment to private doctors by Israeli households with full health insurance coverage

Y. Machnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study is based on the Family Consumption Survey of 1975-76. Out of the randomly sampled households we took 2112 families with sick fund insurance whose members could visit the fund's doctor without payment. A third of the families had paid a private physician in the year preceding the survey. There were several dominant determinants as to whether a private physician was consulted. Those that had, tended to have a higher family income than those that had not, there was a difference between them of half a year of schooling of the parents, and the proportion of the Afro-Asian born was smaller in the group that had visited a private physician. The frequency of private care was greatest when the head of the family was under 25. These findings may be related to the official policy with regard to birth control and the curative character of the funds' activities. Most of those who want medical treatment for birth control visit a private physician who can prescibe contraceptive pills or perform an abortion, which is legal only in the case of medical need. A household with a baby spends more for private care despite the availability of baby clinics for tests, immunizations and nutritional guidance. Households in which the head is over 55 do not spend more for doctors' visits. Although the medical needs of old people are greater, they mainly use the funds' services. Retired people with leisure time can spend it waiting in crowded clinics. In rural areas physicians change frequently as they prefer to live near a medical center and the patients, who probably do not trust new doctors, prefer to visit a private doctor in town. New immigrants pay much less for private doctors. They probably are not accustomed to visit doctors as often as Israelis.

Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)83-84+98
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 1980


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