A new report by PHRI, published at the end of November, 2017, – "Painful Exclusion" – details the health, moral and economic cost of the lack of healthcare policy for asylum seekers in Israel.

painful exclusion

Israel is now home to almost 40,000 African asylum seekers, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan. Israel recognizes the danger they face should they return to their countries of origin, and therefore protects them against expulsion. Beyond this protection, however, these people lack any civil status in Israel, and accordingly remain without regular access to health and welfare services, except in emergencies.

A decade has gone by since the first African asylum seekers arrived in Israel and yet, the Ministry of Health has failed to formulate a comprehensive policy to regulate their access to health services. It is true that in recent years we have witnessed gradual change in the ministry's attitudes, offering partial and sporadic services. But as described in our report, those are inadequate, and leave many without proper medical care. Many are forced to wait until their situation deteriorated to such a degree to make them eligible to receive treatment under the Patient Right Act (emergency only).

The report details the costs of this failure – the health, moral and economic costs of the lack of healthcare policy for asylum seekers. It then offers an alternative: a sustainable solution for that population that includes a state-sponsored insurance arrangement.

Read the report here