Health Care for Israel Gap Year Programs


Delivering and coordinating medical care for Israel Gap Year Programs create challenges for Yeshiva, Seminary, and other Gap Year programs and for the parents of Gap Year students.

Gap Year program administrators struggle to get the best health care for their students while communicating with worried parents at home.  Some programs are more involved, some less – but any administrator will name health problems as a major issue they encounter throughout the year.

Frequently, concerned parents ask gap year administrators, teachers, Rabbis, counselors and even dorm mothers if their student-child is getting the best care, seeing the best specialist, following the instructions, and getting better.  In most cases, none of these people have medical training beyond CPR, and they are unable to give a professional opinion on health matters.

Another major problem administrators face is organizing medical care for students who come with pre-existing conditions.  Health insurance for non-residents generally does not cover pre-existing conditions. Considering that it is estimated that nearly 1/3 of foreign students come to their gap year in Israel with a pre-existing conditions, this is a substantial burden.

What is the impact of health problems for Israel Gap Year Programs?

As in any population, gap year students experience health emergencies and complications for pre-existing health conditions.  The specific impact for these problems on Gap Year Programs is quite different:

    1. Parental stress: Being 6000+ miles away from This can cause parents to be very nervous. They will be on the phone with their child and the school point of contact (usually an administrator) regularly to make sure their child is getting good care.  Remember: the average  18-year-old has never been to a doctor by themselves.  When considering a foreign country, language barrier, and a health crisis, it is understandable why parents have such a high level of stress.


    1. School administrators: These wonderful people, who are usually not medical professionals, are only able to provide a layman’s opinion on the health condition or crisis.  Fielding these calls (and there can be several calls per day) is frustrating and time consuming, as they cannot provide any additional guidance other than what the student has provided to parents (which is usually limited).


    1. Communication and miscommunication: not only is language a barrier to getting good care and care communication for students, but the medical culture in Israel can lead even Hebrew speaking staff to have difficulties. Only health professionals can really improve communication and reduce miscommunications regarding instructions, follow up, and making sure that the best care is provided.


    1. Dissatisfaction with care: Frustration, concern, fear can lead parents to the conclusion that their child is getting sub-optimal care in Israel.  Yes, there are excellent medical services in Israel – but accessing them can be challenging even for Israelis.  For foreign students, it can be daunting.


    1. Students leaving the Gap Year Program: This happens every year, and with few exceptions, it happens because of health problems.  It is tragic when students go home for health reasons.  Short of life-threatening issues, most problems can be managed in Israel.  When issues are not dealt with to the parents’ satisfaction, they pull their kids out of the program and send them home.  This denies the student a fulfillment of their much-anticipated year in Israel, denies them college credits that they may otherwise earn, and denies them the confidence of being able to manage their health issues as independent young adults.

Despite student health insurance, all students experiencing mild or major illnesses or injuries have the need to get excellent health care while in Israel.  Insurance companies help pay for health services, but do not provide health education, advocacy, translation, and parental communication services.  These needs are essential for the safety, health, and well-being of Gap Year students in Israel.  Fulfilling these needs can alleviate much of the stress and anxiety experienced by parents of students in Israel.

EMA Care is the solution to these problems.

EMA Care goes above and beyond the capabilities of insurance providers.  Frequently asked questions to Gay Year Program administrators include:

    • When should a student seek medical attention?


    • How can a student with weak Hebrew ensure that they are receiving the best medical care?


    • How can parents overseas be satisfied that their child is being properly taken care of?


    • Who can educate the student to prevent complications/ recurrence?


    • Who can reassure parents, students, and administration that the student is being properly cared for?


A member of staff is not always available to accompany a student to all medical appointments, or may not understand themselves the type of care that a student requires in each situation.  Medical Hebrew is not the same as spoken Hebrew, and a thorough knowledge of both the US healthcare system (for parental reference) and the Israeli healthcare system (to understand what resources are available to students and where) is necessary to provide appropriate care.

EMA Care gives students, parents, and administrators peace of mind.

EMA Care will support your students, and guide them through all medical issues that arise in Israel while keeping parents and school administration informed and updated.  EMA Care is experienced at providing help students, parents and administrators

At EMA Care, we work in full coordination with your program's insurance provider. Our aim is to give your students and their parents the peace of mind to maximize their gap year experience.

To help students and gap-year programs, EMA Care has several service packages available for Gap Year Programs in Israel.

EMA Care on call

EMA Care can provide on call nursing and health services for all program students.  Payment is made by parents, at group-rate fees which are very affordable.  EMA Care will be on call to the students and staff, offering advice, referrals, telemedicine screening, and coaching students through the medical process during their year in Israel.

EMA Care Auxiliary Services

EMA Care auxiliary service package is available for parents who register for these services in advance.  This service package is activated when the student is in need of medical care or has a pre-existing health condition that requires monitoring and care throughout the year.  In this service package, we are available to accompany your students to their appointments, offering them on-site support throughout the entire medical process,  visiting them at the school as needed, and providing extensive communication services to parents, students, and administration as needed.  EMA Care always refer our clients to highly qualified, English speaking medical health professionals.

Hospitalization Services

EMA Care Auxiliary Service package extends to the rare emergency room visit or hospitalization that can occur during the year.  Should a student need to be hospitalized, EMA Care will accompany your student to the hospital, remaining in contact with you and the student's parents.

We will act as your student's translator, making sure that your student and their parents understands every aspect of their treatment. We will advocate for your student with the physicians, making sure that your student receives appropriate care, follow up, and attention.  EMA Care also fill the gaps in the Israeli healthcare system by providing health education and managing preventative services – coordinating care between providers and in-patient services.

The nicest part about this service is that if your students do not have emergencies by the year's end, EMA Care will reimburse parents the auxiliary service package down-payment (less a small processing fee).

At EMA Care, we share our knowledge and connections to top specialists with you.

Follow-up care

With EMA Care your students and parents will never feel alone when there is a health problem. We will provide extensive follow-up care, such as arranging return visits and tracking medication.

We make sure your student understands how to implement the recommended care when home (in the dorm).

EMA Care will maintain contact with the school administration and with the student's family, keeping them completely informed of the student's progress and needs, within the boundaries of patient confidentiality and informed consent.

Registration for Israel Gap Year Programs

Let EMA Care be your on-scene advocate, getting your students the care and attention they deserve! Let parents know that the students in your care will receive the best available medical care with the services of EMA Care. If medical care for gap year students is needed, EMA Care can make sure that the experience is as positive as possible.  Group discounts are available for program registration.

EMA Care is led by Dr. Eliana Aaron, an American nurse practitioner and an Israeli registered nurse with years of experience helping expats, students, and foreign visitors navigate the Israeli medical care system.  EMA Care employs top quality English-speaking health advocates and professionals to ensure the best care.  Click here to learn more about Dr. Aaron.

Call now to sign up, or contact us to schedule your free consultation.

EMA Care provides medical concierge, case management, and patient advocacy services to tourists, students and residents of Israel. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

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