Israeli hospitals try to stop potentially damaging medical tourism law


Medical tourism brings NIS 500 million a year into Israel, and the government has been struggling to introduce law to control inbound medical tourism.

Hospitals, via local chambers of commerce, are trying to stop the law with claims that legislation will make the local medical tourist industry collapse and impair freedom of action of local hospitals. They also allege that thousands of Israelis earn their living from medical tourism, and many of these are Russian immigrants.

Israel gets medical tourists from Russia and other former Soviet countries, African and Arab countries, Western Europe and the USA.

The Knesset’s Labour, Social Welfare and Health Committee are discussing the proposed medical tourism law.

The main row is over the requirements;

  • Hospital bills must show the amount of any commission paid to a medical travel agent
  • Before arrival the medical tourist must be given written details of the medical diagnosis, proposed treatment, significant risk, evaluation of additional treatment and the full price

The health ministry seeks transparency for every patient, particularly on pricing and ethical treatment patients.

The law is also designed to prevent harm to Israeli patients and ensure that monies from medical tourism is invested by hospitals in facilities for Israelis while giving priority to public medicin, rather than money disappearing into the pockets of doctors and medical travel agents.  

For years doctors and hospitals have made good money, sometimes by charging medical tourists more than locals, and rarely quoting the full price before treatment.



Do you have some news or a press release that you’d like to share with the medical travel industry?

Publish for FREE on IMTJ.


Related News

Global dental tourism impact

24 March, 2020

View of COVID-19 impact from dental tourism agency

Costa Rica dental travel

24 March, 2020

Optimism that patients will return to Costa Rica

India inbound medical travel

18 March, 2020

Visa bans block Bangladesh patients travelling to India

Israel surrogacy rights ruling

18 March, 2020

Israel high court allows surrogacy for same-sex couples

Israel: inbound travel bans

12 March, 2020

COVID-19: All inbound travellers to Israel quarantined