Online Program

School health services in Israel - back from outsourcing to state

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:24 a.m. - 11:42 a.m.

Michael Gdalevich, MD, MPH, Israel Ministry of Health, Southern District, Beer Sheva, Israel
Ronni Gamzu, MD, Ministry of Health, Israel, Jerusalem
Yael Arbeli, RN, Ashkelon District Health Office, Ashkelon, Israel
Liora Shahar, RN, Southern District Health Office, Ministry of Health, Israel, Beer Sheva, Israel
Manuel Katz, MD, MPH, Southern District Health Office, Beer Sheva, Israel
Itamar Grotto, MD, MPH, PhD, Department Of Public Health, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
School health services(SHS) in Israel were established before the state itself. SHS cover all 1st to 9th graders (ages 6-14) in the country. Over the years, SHS, including three main directions of school vaccinations, screening programs and health promotion, were highly successfull. However, due to governmental preference of outsourcing of public services, in 2005, SHS were transferred by tender to contractor. During the following 7 years the service did not thrive. Albeit still high vaccination rates, screening coverage decreased and health promotion was reduced to minimum. In the Southern District the situation was worse than elsewhere: reduced vaccination coverage, especially in the nomadic Bedouin population, low screening and health promotion non-existant. These factors led in 2011 to a partial policy revision. Starting March 2012 the SHS in the South returned to the Health Ministry, including the proportional part of the overall SHS budget. A prompt improvement in outcomes followed this decision. While the SHS, provided by private contractors in the rest of the country continued as before, the Southern District enjoyed a steep increase in coverage rates within the same school-year, both for sreening programs and vaccination rates. At the end of the year, in July 2012, the vaccination rates were 20% higher than those achieved by the contractor. The coverage rates in Bedouin population were identical to other subgroups. Currently, the process continues, and the full evaluation due by July 2013. Already, despite financial difficulties and nurses shortage, primary results show substantial improvement for SHS in the South!

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe School Health Services in Israel, transition of services to outsourcing and back to the Ministry of Health Evaluate the quality of School Health Services provided by contractor and compare with services provision by state

Keyword(s): School Health, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the leader of the research team, and contributed to the writing of the abstract and preparing the presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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