EMA Care Blog

Our Blog covers recent, relevant and helpful health and healthcare news

Appendicitis in Gap Year Students

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Appendicitis is the Appendix's inflammation, which is located on the lower right side of your abdomen. Appendicitis causes extreme pain in your lower abdomen; however, the pain radiates all over the stomach. Although everyone can develop Appendicitis, it is the most common for young people between 10-30. What does the Appendix do? The function of the Appendix is still unknown. Many researchers found that it holds good bacteria that can help reboot the digestive system after diarrheal illness. Others claim that the Appendix is a bacteria that became useless with evolution. People who have Appendicitis and have it removed don’t need...
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Eating Disorders Among Gap Year Students

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Each year, ten thousand two hundred deaths are the direct result of an eating disorder—that's one death every 52 minutes. 9% of the world has an eating disorder. Eating disorders are also a sign of mental health problems. About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide. Eating disorders are prevalent, especially among young women. The number of cases in the Jewish population is increasing. However, the exact number is still unknown. Most people know about two eating disorders:  anorexia and bulimia.  Not known to most people, the most common eating disorder is EDNOS –  or “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified."...
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Retinal Detachment

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Retinal detachment is an emergency situation in which a thin layer of tissue in the retina (at the back of the eye) moves from its normal position. The most common causes of retinal detachment are aging or eye injury. If left untreated permanent loss of eyesight can occur. Thankfully, About 80% to 90% of retina surgical procedures are successful, and although in some cases more than one operation may be necessary, chances of a full recovery are high if the situation is caught in time. Early detection  Early detection is key in this situation. Here are the symptoms of a retinal...
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Sudden Emotional Problems in Gap Year Students

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This year, many gap year students have been experiencing a lot of stress due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  What happens when a student develops an emotional problem while he/she is in Israel? How can the student or parent recognize the signs of a serious problem?  Who can the student turn to? How can the parent who is thousands of miles away, help? How to Detect a Problem? There is a lot of assistance and support available to students who are having an emotionally difficult time during their year in Israel.  If this is the student’s first time experiencing depression, anxiety, eating problems...
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Constipation during the Gap Year

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Constipation in Gap Year Students Have you ever traveled to a new place and experienced constipation? Over the past few years, we have had many gap year students complain about constipation – usually within the first 2 months of being in the country. We had a vegetarian student once who was eating only tofu- no vegetables, fruits, and definitely not a balanced diet.  We had another student who was eating only potato chips and soda, because they were too tired to cook or even go out at the end of the long day.  These students end up gaining weight and developing...
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Mental health during your gap year in Israel

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The gap year program is a great experience. It allows young adults to become independent, mature, and expand their education. However, this year is also a major transition for most students, which can lead to anxiety amongst themselves and their parents. Some students develop temporary anxiety during their year because they are in a foreign country by themselves for the first time. Others come to Israel with pre-existing conditions that are being managed by medication or a therapist. These conditions should not prevent young adults from coming to Israel because they are very manageable. Over the years, we have seen many...
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How to Really Understand Lice

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Head lice. It’s a subject nearly no one wants to admit exists, let alone think or talk about. However, head lice have reached epidemic proportions all around the world. It’s difficult to get statistics, but an estimated 7% of children between ages 3-11 experience lice infestation each year in the United States. No statistics are available for adults with lice. In Israel, it’s 15% among children! Experts believe the higher number in Israel is because of larger families with siblings passing around lice. EMA Care spoke with Penina Neustadter, a very busy “lice lady” in Israel. Penina became a lice lady...
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Prescription Medication in Israel

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Prescription medications in Israel can oftentimes be different than in other countries.  Whether planning a trip or sending a child for a Gap Year, understanding the availability of medication locally can help guide decision making and planning for health needs. Here are 10 rules about prescription medication in Israel: Some medications are not available here.  Medications in Israel must be approved through a lengthy bureaucratic and often political process.  Some medications, deemed either unnecessary or too expensive, or too rarely needed – are simply not available.Medications may come in different doses.  For example, thyroid medication is not available in 25mcg increments. ...
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Students with Food Allergies

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If you are a student with food allergies and living in a dorm, you must take precautions to assure you live in a safe environment.  It’s very important to realize that people who don’t have any exposure to anaphylactic allergies often don’t understand how dangerous they can be. For example, an allergy sufferer meets his roommate for the first time, he says I am allergic to peanuts. The roommate enjoys peanut butter and he says he will be very careful whenever he eats peanut butter in the room. “The peanut butter won’t go anywhere. How dangerous can it be?”. This is...
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Aging in Place in Israel

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Aging in place is the phrase used to describe seniors who choose to stay living in their home – even when aging becomes more challenging.  Aging in place is a popular choice instead of moving to a skilled nursing facility, and over 96% of older adults in Israel are currently aging in place!  Aging in place requires coordination and utilizing services and resources available to ease the burdens often encountered as people age.  With aging in place, more people can choose where to live, and to maintain a higher level of independence for a longer period of time. Aging in place...
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Flu Vaccine in Israel

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The Flu vaccine in Israel is available now!!  It’s important that you go now while flu vaccine supply lasts!! In previous years, there have been shortages of the vaccine.  Why should people get the flu vaccine? Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.Between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths occur in people 65 years and older. So the vaccine is a must for seniors! Other people at risk include people of all ages with pre-existing chronic health conditions, children, and pregnant women.Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread...
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Holiday Medical Care

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Medical care during the holidays can get a little tricky in Israel. During the holidays, many medical offices and hospitals are operating on Shabbat mode.  Shabbat mode means that personnel are cut to a minimum staffing, many clinics are not operational, and routine, non-emergency health services are not provided.  These hours can include hospitals, emergency and urgent care centers, pharmacies, clinics, and private medical offices.  Medical offices have less operational hours (or none), so the few hours they are open, they are typically overbooked. Don’t forget that Medical Care during the Holidays includes the eve of holidays!  The eve of a...
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Guidelines for Fasting in Israel

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Fasting in Israel can be a different experience from fasting in other countries.  It’s hard to recall a Yom Kippur in Israel that did not include hearing someone fainting from dehydration. Even though this year Yom Kippur falls late on October 12, and we hope for cooler weather, the dry, hot weather in Israel puts fasters at higher risk of dehydration.  Preparing for Yom Kippur a few days in advance is a sure way to fast safely on this High Holiday.   When a person fasts, everyday behavior results in a loss of fluid that is not being replaced in the course of...
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Crohn's Disease in Israel

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Crohn’s disease in Israel can be challenging to manage, especially for students and tourists who do not have access to the full-service Israeli health care system. Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affect as many as 1.4 million Americans, most of who are diagnosed before age 30.   Crohn’s disease causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue in the gastrointestinal tract, causing inflammation. It is a life-long condition that can be treated but not cured.   Crohn's Disease Management in Israel Ashkenazi Jews are at significantly higher risk for Crohn's disease, and research is being conducted to...
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Parental Stress and Gap Year Students

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There may be parental stress as your child leaves for his gap year in Israel. The gap year is an extraordinary time for young adults to grow spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. However, it can be a bittersweet experience for many parents.  You are excited for your child but missing and worrying about your child may be inevitable. EMA Care provides some guidance for parents to cope with their own stress… and make it easier for their children to have a successful year. You are nervous about your child being so far away, constantly scanning the news for anything going on in...
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Managing Medicine in Israel

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Managing  medicine in Israel can be challenging for anyone.  Medication in Israel is not the same as medication in other countries, especially if you are from the United States.  Managing medicine in Israel is an important consideration if you are here for a longer stay, whether a tourist, resident, volunteer, or diplomat.   You will need to do research before you arrive, as not every medication is the same when traveling to foreign countries.   If you are coming to Israel for a short stay, be sure to bring your medication with you.  For example, common medications may have different names in Israel. ...
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Confusion in the Hospital

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Most people experience confusion when they need to be in a hospital.  Confusion is the inability to think as clearly or as quickly as you want to. Whether you are a patient or a relative of the patient - hospitals are confusing.  Without a medical background, it can be an almost helpless feeling.  What’s going on?  Should I ask that question? What is going to happen next? Why did the doctor say that?  Why isn’t the nurse coming?  Why do I feel so out of place? There are 3 types of confusion people have in hospitals: Situational confusionFamily confusionDelirium confusion  ...
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Why Do Gap Year Students Need EMA Care?

People have been asking “why do gap year students need EMA Care??” The answer is: Student health plans do not cover essential health needs that parents want for their child.  EMA Care provides those services and fills in the gaps left by local insurance programs.  Each year thousands of students come to Israel to work, study, and have fun!  After high school, it has become a rite of passage for Jewish youth from all over the world to spend 1-12 months in Israel.  The programs are varied from yeshiva/seminary or university study to volunteering in the Negev desert. These varied programs have...
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The Reality of Alcohol and Students in Israel

The hushed fact is that many teens spending a gap year in Israel will be drinking alcohol.   Another hushed fact is that tens of gap year students will be treated for alcohol poisoning or other alcohol related injuries and illnesses during their time in Israel. In past years, gap year students have even died because of alcohol poisoning.  The legal drinking age in Israel is 18 years old.  For American youth in particular, this is an exciting novelty and it is tempting to enter pubs and drink. Do the math: The availability of alcohol + the absence of parents + the...
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Cultural Differences May Affect Your Medical Care in Israel

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There are many cultural differences between Israel and other countries.  Anyone who has had any business interaction here will vouch for that! But did you know that culture also affects your health care? We are not only talking about a language barrier. A visitor to Israel who ends up in the emergency room will undergo an overwhelming, disorienting, truly foreign experience. The three ways cultural differences may affect your healthcare in Israel:   1.Chutzpah- Israeli chutzpah is world famous. It is how the commandos raided Entebbe and freed the hijacked passengers 40 years ago this week. It is also why other people...
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Emergency Room Visits in Israel

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It’s inevitable that somewhere, somehow, a teen from one of the many Israeli summer programs, could be in a hospital emergency room this summer.  There are hundreds of teens here and the sad, but true fact is that someone is going to get hurt or sick.  The program director, a counselor, or an ambulance will take the teen to the hospital. What happens when the teen arrives in the ER? Emergency rooms in Israeli hospitals follow typical ER protocol.  However, hospitals are even more crowded here. Hospitals in remote locations may offer sub-optimal care.  Patients are treated based on the severity...
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Value Added EMA Care services for Gap Year students

What are the value-added services EMA Care adds compared to current services and medical insurance alone? See our chart below to compare current practice with the value of EMA Care service...     ITEMCurrent Practice – Foreign StudentsEMA Care PracticeAttending emergencies or appointmentsStudent goes alone or the school sends a madrich/ counselor.  Some schools send non-medical faculty members.  Neither option has health knowledge to know if optimal care is being received.Health professional attends emergency or appointment, ensures optimal, US level services are being provided.CommunicationsParents call administrators regarding their child’s health situation.  Administrators are not medical professionals and cannot answer to quality and...
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5 Facts About Over the Counter Medications in Israel

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Over the Counter (OTC) medications in Israel are different than in the US or other countries.  Names and availability differ from country to country, and having a basic understanding of what to expect can help you figure out what to purchase when you are sick.  Here are 5 rules about OTC medications in Israel: Not everything available OTC in the US and Europe is available OTC in Israel.   Some medications for yeast infections, heartburn, pain, allergies, and some skin conditions (like acne) are prescription only..Some OTC medications are available in Israel that aren’t available in the US, such as dipyrone pain...
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Our Latest Blogs

31 October 2021
You have decided to make your Aliyah and currently take prescription medications. How can you continue with your medication regimen in Israel? How can you ensure that your medications are available in Israel and how do you communicate the need for th...
24 October 2021
Are you struggling with getting out of quarantine or getting a GREEN PASS? If so, this blog is for you.  You came to Israel to enjoy yourself with your family and thought it would be easy to get out of quarantine, but in the end, you realize it'...
17 October 2021
During the Coronavirus pandemic, many people have been worried about the upcoming Flu season. But to everyone’s surprise, the numbers in the southern hemisphere were the lowest they have been in a long time. “Never in my 40-year career have we ever s...

EMA Care in the News

05 September 2021
Medical Care during the Holidays can be tricky in Israel especially if you do not speak Hebrew. During the holidays, many medical offices and hospitals are operating on Shabbat mode. Shabbat mode means that personnel is cut to minimum staffing, many ...
19 July 2021
Over the years, we've been approached by people who've asked us about different kinds of diets and food plans. Intermittent fasting has become very popular over the last few years. It is a method of dieting that restricts the amount of time you are a...
11 July 2021
 Telemedicine is a great option for caring for geriatric populations in Israel. This is especially true during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the years, we’ve had many clients who care for their older, dependent parents. Take our clients, the A fam...

What Our Clients Say

Our COVID-19 WhatsApp informational group

Thank you so much for your help. I can't tell you how this Whatsapp group helps all of us. It makes everyone so much more relaxed to have real good information and have somewhere to ask questions, I am so grateful!
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Our COVID-19 WhatsApp informational group

I want to express my appreciation for these very informative updates.

Thank you so much

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Entry to Israel services

Your team was so attentive to my needs. Everyone was so incredibly quick to respond and were proactive when they were able!

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Interview with Dr. Mobeen & Dr. Eliana Aaron

Many thanks for your hour-long session on Dr. Syed's YouTube channel. This is the best Hasbara Israel could wish for!

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

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!! 

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thanks so much for your time and attention! It was excellent! Thank you guys so much for organizing.

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EMA Care information and Q&A conference

Thank you! Very helpful and comprehensive.

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WhatsApp groups

I really appreciate being apart of your WhatsApp groups. It keeps me informed and up to date!

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Ema Care WhatsApp groups

I have been following your updates closely and I really appreciate your posts and I know that I am reading accurate information 

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Recommended by an Infectious Disease Specialist

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

...
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