Israel’s Mental Health Reform
Hebrew – בריאות הנפש
In accordance with a new law – The Mental Health Reform – of 1 July 2015, insurance responsibility for mental health services has passed from the Ministry of Health to the Health Funds (kupot cholim).
The three main objectives of the new Mental Health reform are:
- To improve health services, both for the body and for the mind, for residents of Israel covered by national health insurance;
- To end the distinction currently made between treatment of physical health and of mental health
- Reduce the stigma attached to mental health
Until now, the Ministry of Health has been funding mental health services. Now that the responsibility of funding has been transferred to the Kupot Holim (Maccabi, Clalit, Leumit and Meuhedet), treatment will become an integral part of the family health services currently offered to Israeli citizens.
Any Israeli citizen, of any age, who so wishes is now entitled to received mental health services directly from their Health Fund
Where to go
Should you desire, you can obtain a wide range of treatments and additional information from the mental health clinic of your Health Fund (Maccabi, Clalit, Leumit and Meuhedet). Each Health Fund has its own system and structure for obtaining mental health services and treatments.
The new Mental Health Reform allows members of the public to seek treatment for any type of mental stress. Liaise with your family practitioner.
In an emergency, it is possible to go to a psychiatric emergency room for treatment,
- Every Center for Mental Health has a psychiatric emergency room operating 24/7. A referral, payment or co-payment is not required.
- It is also possible to attend emergency rooms of general hospitals, where there are psychiatric consultants. Note that at general hospitals payment must be made in accordance with the accepted rules of any emergency room treatment in a general hospital.
Which mental health services are included in the basket?
The health basket (Heb: sal briut) includes psychiatric hospitalization services in psychiatric hospitals and in departments of psychiatry in general hospitals, as well as the following clinic-based services:
- Psychiatric diagnosis, assessment, counseling and treatment services; intervention in crises; personal, family, group, follow-up, support and maintenance treatment; and house calls if needed.
- Day treatment at a clinic.
- Provision of a psychiatric opinion or medical certificate regarding a member, following an examination in the clinic, by order of the District Psychiatrist or by court order in criminal proceedings, under the provisions of the Treatment of the Mentally Ill Law.
- Service for a member who receives in-clinic service in order to assist in submitting applications to a Regional Rehabilitation Committee under the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Persons with Mental Health Disability Law, including the preparation of Opinions for the Committee.
Services will be provided based on clinical and professional judgment of the clinical professionals, just as in every field of medicine.
A full list of services and benefits are outlined in the Ministry of Health’s official website (Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian, Spanish and French)