This year it is estimated that over a million Jews worldwide have been looking into making Aliyah. This is probably due to the global Coronavirus pandemic and the increasing radical events that have been happening across the globe. Many people are choosing to make Aliyah and spend their golden years in Israel. In fact, about 14% of immigrants (olim) to Israel are over the age of 65. Many olim do not have a social network or speak the language, causing confusion when trying to navigate the healthcare system in Israel. This leads to gaps in current treatments, delayed appointments, or individuals giving up due to their frustration.
Anglos tend to use the Israeli medical healthcare system very differently than Israelis. They have more appointments with general doctors and fewer appointments with private doctors because they don't know how to get appointments with private doctors and when to see them. They also are 8 times more likely to go to the emergency room unnecessarily because they do not fully understand how to take advantage of the Israeli medical system.
Challenges in the medical system
Olim go through many challenges with the medical system, and they often fall between the cracks because no one knows what to do with them. Here are some of the challenges and how to overcome them:
Choosing the right Kupat Cholim – People who make Aliyah often don’t know which Kupat Cholim to choose because they don’t know enough information. Many of the Kupat Cholim’s have an excellent reputation among Israelis, but they don’t know how to handle English-speaking patients.
EMA Care has helped thousands of people choose the right Kupah that will meet their medical needs. We have an orientation program where EMA Care will review an individual's current medical needs and provide recommendations as to which Kupah is able to accommodate them.
Many people do not realize that Kupot Cholim resources vary according to location. For example, if you live in Jerusalem, then a certain Kupat Cholim might be considered to have a competitive edge because they have more resources readily available to meet client’s needs. These resources include more doctors in a specific area, more appointments, more clinics, and better infrastructure. However, if you live in Netanya, that same Kupat Cholim considered great in Jerusalem might not have the same readily available resources and an alternative Kupah will better serve the needs of clients. Location is vital, and it is crucial to decide which Kupah to sign up for based on where you will live and current medical needs.
Medical Appointment – Another concern olim face is finding the right doctor (one that speaks English). Although Israelis are educated to read and speak English, they often have a difficult time speaking English in the workplace. Therefore, it takes some trial and error to find a physician that meets your medical needs while communicating to you in your native language.
As mentioned earlier, EMA Care has a great orientation program where we help people making Aliyah find the best doctors who speak English.
Emergency hotlines - Every Kupah has a 24/7 medical emergency hotline. But when an Anglo calls and even selects the “for English please press...” – an Israeli picks up the phone who doesn’t understand English very well and can’t help you in case of an emergency.
EMA Care is the only 24/7 English-speaking medical hotline in Israel. Our health professionals are fluent in English and Hebrew, know the Israeli medical system, and are able to assist you in getting emergency care!
EMA Care also offers – emergency room advocacy. Our trained professionals accompany you to the hospital and ensure that you are getting the best healthcare there is (info below).
Aliyah can be stressful at any point in your life, especially later in life. However, EMA Care is here for you and will help you get the best quality healthcare in Israel!
Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional. Bravo to both of you ladies!!
My experience with Ema Care has been so positive that I wanted to share it in case it could help someone else. Eight days ago my daughter, a Shanah Bet student, called to say she wasn’t feeling well and had symptoms of Covid-19. I was put in touch with an Infectious Disease specialist who recommended Ema Care. I reached Dr. Eliana Aaron easily and signed my daughter up. The next morning, Ema Care gave my daughter a telehealth exam and provided her with prescriptions, as well as a list of...
I would like to also add my compliments, you exceeded my already very high expectations. You can certainly send other schools our way for a recommendation.
-Mr. E. Naiman
Dear Dr. Eliana words simply cannot express how much you have done for all of us and so many others in keeping us informed, calming anxieties, and being such a wonderful and patient resource through such a difficult time. Wishing you much bracha and hatzlacha in the merit of all the countless mitzvot u have done to help so many through these trying times; mikol halev, ein milim and thanks so so much .
Gap Year Program Staff
Hello Dr. Aaron. I cannot thank you enough for providing not only crucial information but a framework that gave us stability and allowed us to function (instead of descending into chaos, which undoubtedly would have happened, if not for you). At the risk of waxing dramatic, I will tell you that when I think of what you've done these past couple of months, what comes to mind is Rav Yohanan Ben Zakai asking Vespasian to give him Yavneh ve-Hakhameha, thus saving the entire enterprise of Talmud...