Intended for healthcare professionals


Israeli Arabs undergo less preventive screening than Jews

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 09 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:988
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. 1Jerusalem

Twelve years after Israel's national health insurance law was passed to ensure equal access to medical services, a new study has found that Israeli Arabs see medical specialists and undergo preventive screening much less often than Israeli Jews.

However, Arabs, who make up a fifth of Israel's population, do visit their primary care doctor more often than their Jewish counterparts, says the study, which was published online ahead of print publication on 25 September in Health Services Research (, doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2006.00645.x).

The study's lead author, Orna Baron-Epel, of the University of Haifa's School of Public Health, said these differences, which could not be explained by socioeconomic or health status, were not due to discrimination against Arabs. Less frequent use of specialists and screening …

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