Health care access and satisfaction in Judean and Samarian communities: Opportunities for improving care

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Background: There are distinctive potential barriers to optimal health care in Judea and Samaria because of access and satisfaction levels, including obstacles such as its isolation and health care capacity. However, there is a lack of research focusing on health care for the Jewish communities in this region, often referred to as the West Bank. Research questions: What is the level of health care access and satisfaction for Israelis living in the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria? How do these results compare to parallel results for Israelis in general? How do these results vary by subgroups, in particular by location? Methods: Two hundred fourty six residents of Judea and Samaria in six diverse, Jewish communities were surveyed, with a 76% response rate. Descriptive analyses were performed for all variables. Bivariate analyses for access and satisfaction measures were performed by key demographic variables. Comparisons were also made with Israelis in general (the vast majority of whom do not live in Judea or Samaria), by comparing our survey results to the results of 2016 Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute national satisfaction survey. Our survey questions were based on this national survey, tested and used for several cohorts. Results: Of those surveyed, 14% decided to forego treatment because of the distance, although only 3% declined treatment because of cost. There was a diversity of results in terms of satisfaction measures, although in no categories were even half of respondents very satisfied; results ranged from 7% very satisfied with health care system overall to 47% very satisfied with their family physician's attitude. Variations were found by community with local council communities generally, but not always, having the highest satisfaction. Compared to Israelis in general, Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria reported generally lower satisfaction, including 9% fewer being very satisfied with the health plan overall and 10% fewer being very satisfied with referrals. However, 7% more had confidence in getting the best treatment. Conclusions: Access to care involves more than just coverage. Health care system problems among Israelis living in Judea and Samaria include not just quantity, but quality of services offered. There is a need for improvement not only in health care resources, but also in the level of access and satisfaction in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2018


  • Health care access
  • Israel
  • Judea
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Samara
  • West bank


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