Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Cheaper Way

Hi all! I'm back! And, I hope to blog a lot more in the future. Updates in my own life: I am starting school again, with a position in an excellent lab in my field, which is great for me. Courtesy of the Israeli government of course, which is providing me with a salary, as well as paying my tuition as a new Olah. Thank you Israel!

Since the Israeli government gives out money in so many ways, you might think that they have a money tree planted somewhere out in the Shomron. Yet, this obviously is not so. They do what all governments do: budget out their expenses, plan accordingly, and provide what they can within reason. At least, from my own experience, that is what they do.

Israeli medical care is socialized, which has good things and bad things. I have spoken about this before, but I find the standard of care here to be pretty good, all things considered. I have caring and compassionate doctors, a level of care which seems to be rather decent, and best of all, free insurance.

Free insurance? Yes, the government provides a basic level of care for all its constituents. Beyond that basic, and one needs to shell out some pocket money, but not quite as much as one might think. Medicines are cheaper, tourists can also get insurance through the government for their stay, and in general, most things do not cost an arm and a leg.

This past week, my brother-in-law caught that strain of mumps that seems to be going around. It is a new strain, so many in the Orthodox Jewish community, both here and in America, have been affected. He stayed at home at first, thinking it was just the flu. When it didn't go away, a nurse friend paid him a home visit, and told him it was the mumps. Now, my brother in law does not have insurance. He didn't have the need for it since he left college, and he never applied for it. But now he needed a doctors' care, and he had no way to pay for it except out of pocket. So he went, and got that antibiotic which he needed, and paid for it himself. Expensive, no?

Would it be better if there was a basic standard of care for all citizens, like Israel has? In this particular case, yes.

When I was pregnant with NBD, I lived in America for a few months. I had insurance, and received excellent care. However, I was charged astronomically for minor, no emergency, visits. After all, this is America, where medicine is private and expensive. In Israel, I received almost the same standard of care (by almost, I mean that I performed my own tests in the doctors office, rather than having a nurse perform the test. This is how Israel saves costs.) for free or almost nil. My doctors were just as caring, the midwives just as alert, and all for cheaper.

I know those who come to Israel just for the medical care. Cheaper? Yes. Better? Not sure. Almost? Pretty close.


itsagift said...

Welcome Back! I missed hearing from you!
I hope your brother in law has a refuah shelaima!

Anonymous said...

You got a position! Congrats! No need to tell me in person or anything... that's what blogs are for, right? :-P

nmf #7 said...

Itsagift- Thanks! I missed blogging too. And AMEN!

Bad4- Yeah, well :D You know how it is- life gets really busy all of a sudden!

Frayda said...

what do you mean when you say you did your own tests? what tests?

Anonymous said...

Hope the new position is working out well - what you researching?

nmf #7 said...

Frayda- Well, not blood tests, but to be more squeamishly specific for example, we did our own urine tests, we helped in our own fetal monitor, and so on.

Anon613- I'm a science student, but that's about as specific as I'd like to get.