The story of Clalit Health Services began in 1911 with a group of 150 immigrant workers who joined together to form a mutual aid health care association. In those years, Israel’s pioneers faced neglected, swamp-infested land lacking water and other vital resources.

They knew that to help themselves they had to help each other. With this aim in mind they voluntarily set aside a portion of their wages, according to income, for the medical treatment of the sick. And so Clalit (known then as Kupat Holim Clalit) came into being, establishing an impressive history of cooperation and service

With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Clalit was called upon to fill one of the most important missions in its history: the restructuring of its health care system to provide for the huge wave of new immigrants. Through its intense efforts, it made a decisive contribution to the fledgling nation by ensuring the health of its citizens in times of war and in times of peace. The Clalit clinics quickly became a landmark in every neighborhood of the country where the residents could find care and healing

Clalit has since developed into the major health organization in Israel, and one of the most progressive public health associations in the world. Proudly, humanitarian tenets still remain the cornerstone of its philosophy and practice. Through its 14 hospitals and more than 1200 primary and specialized clinics, Clalit provides comprehensive health insurance and highly advanced medical care to the majority of Israel’s population. It is also the only health fund with a countrywide network of state-of-the-art pharmacies, dental clinics, laboratories, diagnostic imaging and specialist centers

Family doctors and hospital specialists cooperate to provide a broad medical-social perspective for the care of the individual, the family and the community. Clalit has some 3.8 million insured members from every ethnic group and every walk of life in Israel

The health care system in Israel was established by Clalit, a non-governmental, non-profit organization. It has initiated, defined and set the health standards for the entire country for some 90 years. Israel’s high standing in the Western world of medicine is attributable to Clalit’s vision, commitment and expertise

In January, 1995, in an effort to set health care on a more economically sound path, a national health insurance law went into effect, creating a compulsory health care system based on four service providers. The largest is Clalit, which covers some 60% of the population. Every member pays in proportion to his or her income, and each is entitled to the same quality and range of medical services. One of Clalit’s unique features is its total involvement in the health services it offers

Clalit receives its share of the health tax collected by the National Insurance Institute (a governmental agency) on a capitation basis according to the number and age of its members

One of Clalit’s unique features is its total involvement in the health services it offers. It plans, builds, owns and operates its own modern health care facilities, and also leases clinic space in centrally located places such as shopping malls, on a long term basis. It employs as salaried personnel the nurses and doctors, teachers, researchers and administrators who staff its hospitals and clinics, including 7,500 physicians, 11,500 nurses, 1,300 pharmacists, 4,400 paramedics and laboratory/imaging technicians and 9,400 administrative personnel

Clalit has adopted a decentralized form of organization, in which the country is divided into 8 districts. Each district has wide scope of independence in decision-making. The districts vary in size from some 340,000 members to over 600,000 members, and are responsible for a varying number of clinics, ranging from 60 to more than 180. Budgeting is based on a capitation system.

Each district is headed by an executive board. Day-to-day supervision of the services provided in the clinics is assigned to smaller regional offices

Clalit is the only health organization that has an extensive network of hospitals throughout the country. Clalit maintains a total of 14 general and special care hospitals, which include two psychiatric hospitals, each with ambulatory as well as in-patient care, a full care rehabilitation hospital, and two long-term care hospitals with rehabilitation and nursing facilities for the chronically ill and the aged. Members may be hospitalized either at one of Clalit’s eight general hospitals or at a government or public hospital for whose services Clalit pays in full. Members are also entitled to hospital services not included in the Health Ministry basket through Clalit complementary insurance, available at low cost fees. All Clalit hospitals are university affiliate

Clalit’s interest in specialized medical care for children led to the establishment of one of its most outstanding and unique facilities, the Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel (SCMCI), an advanced 224-bed tertiary facility.

In the long-term interest of the entire population, Clalit conducts clinical, biomedical and social science research in its own facilities, or in cooperation with Israel’s universities and scientific institutions. The Basil and Gerald Felsenstein Medical Research Center provides a complete support environment dedicated to applied medical research.

Clalit advances the interests of the community and the nation through its health education programs and its popular home medical publication which reaches a large audience. Its advanced medical delivery concepts and innovative programs for healthy living for all ages impact on the entire health scene in Israel.

Clalit assists in the absorption of new immigrants, and, in time of war and other crises, it puts its facilities at the disposal of the entire population, assigning doctors and nurses to air raid shelters and turning civilian hospitals over to emergency needs.

Clalit also sends its doctors as well as medical supplies to many countries of the world in times of earthquakes, droughts and other natural disasters.

Clalit has changed the face of medicine and the health care system in Israel by implementing high-tech computer systems in all areas of its activities. It has invested intensively in providing sophisticated services for the benefit of its members, including computerized on-line personal medical records and fax transmission of diagnostic test results to physicians and patients.

In one of its major steps forward, Clalit has established throughout its network an innovative telemedicine program for the transfer of electronic medical data. The program enables patients, in coordination with their family physicians, to consult with specialists in every area of the country, and to benefit from the most timely, quality medical diagnoses and treatment recommendations, ensuring that every geographical location in Israel has access to the finest medical care possible.

Clalit knows that its future and the future of its members depends on the achievements of the present, and on focusing its resources toward the continued advancement of medical care through utilization of the ever expanding applications of dynamic medical computerization and technology

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