Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Calling an Ambulance in Israel

Emergency Telephone Number - 101

Hebrew: הזמנת אמבולנס

 

magen david adom ambulance service israelEnsure that the emergency services telephone numbers are prominently positioned around the house.   Dialing 101 from any phone in Israel connects you with MADA - Magen David Adom - the emergency medical response unit.  The ambulance and paramedics will come to your aid, and give you the best care possible and transport you to a hospital if necessary.

Under the provisions of the National Health Insurance Law, a health-fund member (insurant) is eligible to receive partial or total participation in ambulance evacuation fees in the following cases as outlined by the Ministry of Health:

  1. The transportation of an insurant who was taken in a regular ambulance or in an intensive care ambulance and hospitalized in a general hospital is covered by the Health Fund.
  2. An insurant who  was taken in an intensive care ambulance but was not hospitalized – is eligible for Health Fund participation of 50%.
  3. An insurant that was taken in a regular ambulance and was not hospitalized, is not eligible for any Health Fund participation whatsoever.
  4. The ambulance transport fee of an insurant who was examined in the emergency room of a hospital and  after which, the emergency room medical staff decided to transfer him to another hospital, shall be covered by the Health Fund.
  5. An insurant who was hospitalized in a hospital and after which, the medical staff decided to transfer him to another general hospital shall have his transport costs funded by the referring hospital (unless he was transferred to a nursing home).
  6. The transport of an insurant discharged from a hospital stay who is then transferred by the Health Fund to a specialized framework; complex rehabilitation or nursing, where his transport must  be done in an ambulance due to his medical condition, shall be covered by the Health Fund. In order to exercise this right, the patient should approach the health fund in which he is insured.
  7. Oncology and dialysis patients that need to be driven for medical treatment in hospitals, and it is medically justified to drive them in an ambulance, are eligible for health fund participation of 50%.

An insurant that was taken by an ambulance should approach a health fund clinic as soon as possible and present the ambulance report and bill. This, in order to settle the payment through the Health Fund, according to the above-mentioned regulations.

It is also recommended to make inquiries as to whether any other eligibility exists, beyond the regulations that are specified above and within the framework of the Fund or of the Fund’s supplementary insurance.

An insurant who doesn’t settle payment through the Health Fund within 60 days of receiving ambulance services, is obliged to pay the entire sum to the ambulance company. Thereafter, he may contact the Health Fund and ask for a partial or total reimbursement, in accordance with the regulations.

Private Ambulance Services

Private ambulances are available countrywide, for your medical transport requirements if you are not covered by the Health Funds.

In any case of doubt, you may approach the Ministry of Health’s complaints commissioner.

29 Rivka St., Jerusalem, Tel: 02-5681257, Fax: 02-5655981

Health Tip

  • Hospital bills not covered by the Health Funds, are payable within 14 days.  Ambulance bills are payable within 30 days.
  • Have regular family drills!  Explain and show young children how to call an ambulance or any emergency service.

Some rules are just ridiculous!

One of our readers wrote in

After an unfortunate medical emergency, I took my hospital discharge and ambulance bills to my health-fund for settlement.  In spite of the law, I was surprised when I was told that I had to pay 50% of the ambulance bill.  I was told by the health-fund representative that the only way to ensure that I was fully covered for an ambulance and an hospital stay (which was not the result of a doctors referral), is to call the health-fund's emergency number, ask for the nurses station, and explain the nature of the health problem to them.  They will then authorize and arrange an ambulance if necessary (and payment) as well as any hospitalization or emergency-room treatment, if required. In my case it was not possible to call the Health Fund for pre-approval as I was unconscious.  My young children did a fine job calling the ambulance and did their best to cope with this emergency on their own - they would never have been able to call the health fund for pre-approval.

Emergency Contact Numbers

A comprehensive list of emergency contact numbers in Israel, can be found here...

 

Calling your Health Fund can be a headache so we've translated their automated answering machines from Hebrew to English

 

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