The professional organization for doctors in Israel is the Histadrut HaRefuit B’Yisrael. This organization deals with all matters concerning doctors, both professional such as examinations, and malpractice laws and personal such as salaries, malpractice insurance, etc. It publishes a professional semi-monthly magazine as well as a monthly personal newsletter.
Financial compensation for physician services in Israel varies significantly from normative salary expectations in North America. We recommend speaking to physicians who are already working in Israel, to gain a realistic sense of local salaries.Salaries and conditions of employment between the various Kupot Cholim (health funds) also vary. You might need to “shop around” to work out the best package.
Banking Benefits – In some Israeli banks, doctors receive special discounts and services, which may include lower fees and favorable loan terms.
Specialties in Demand
While there is a growing demand for physicians in general, there is a particularly strong need for specialists in such areas as family medicine, pediatrics, female gynecologists, geriatrics, radiology, internal medicine, nuclear medicine, anesthesiology, neonatology, nephrology, neurology, pathology, and surgery.
Working for US Employers
Due to the advent of tele-radiology, radiology is one of the most in-demand and lucrative medical professions for North American Olim. Hospitals in the US will hire an Israeli radiologist (provided they have a U.S. license) and pay them to work the U.S. night shift.
The four health funds in Israel (Meuchedet, Maccabi, Clalit, and Leumit) have branches throughout the country, including most large cities and districts. Differences between the health funds mainly revolve around facility locations, supplemental policies, and additional services offered. Each fund has its own payment and reimbursement policies. Reimbursement typically occurs quarterly based on the number of patients seen, not the number of visits per patient. Patient tracking methods vary among the funds, with doctors submitting a list of patients seen in the previous quarter at the beginning of each quarter. Some doctors work as independent contractors (Atzma’im), so it is advisable to consult with an accountant before accepting a new job offer.
Many physicians combine working in the Kupot Cholim (health clinics) with working in a hospital. While salaries in the Kupot Cholim may be higher, hospitals offer a chance to work in a supportive environment with professional colleagues. Health funds cover hospitalization costs for their members. Conditions vary from hospital to hospital. Physicians employed directly by a hospital receive standard pay according to seniority and specialty, supplemented by items such as overtime and pensions. For a list of Israeli hospitals, click here.
Immediate Care Clinics – Terem
In addition to working for the Kupot or hospitals, another potential place of employment is TEREM. Terem has a network of urgent and immediate care clinics, in and around the Jerusalem area (including branches in Bet Shemesh, Modi’in and Ma’ale Adumim). In many ways, it functions as an ER, but separate from a hospital setting. Terem has a long history of employing oleh doctors, and is particularly keen to employ doctors with an anglo background. You do not necessarily need to have a background in ER work (although this is desirable), and Terem employs family and general doctors, pediatricians, orthopedists, gynecologists, internal medicine and more. For more details, please contact Daniel Lipczer (Personnel Manager) on 02-652-1748 or [email protected].
Anyone who holds a medical license is entitled to open a private practice and set fees as they see fit. When you have a private practice you can see patients on a strictly private basis, or you can receive members of health funds and then be reimbursed by the funds. There are many practices that combine the two.