Country: Israel is a country in western Asia on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan on the east, and Palestinian territories that include the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the east and southwest. Egypt is to the south. Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state. Its capital is Jerusalem. The population is approximately 8 million and its primary language is Modern Hebrew.
To access emergency services: Dial 101
Currency: Israeli shekel (ILS)
Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to Israel, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.
Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
It is also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacuation home or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.
Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers
What to expect in an Israeli hospital: Hospitals and medical centers are the main health facilities in Israel. Hospitals in Israel provide the most extensive care, including consultations, diagnostic tests, lab work, surgery, and emergency services. Medical centers offer highly specialized care and surgery. In some cases, hospitals run medical schools. At these hospitals, doctors and surgeons teach in addition to seeing patients.
All major cities have multiple hospitals which offer standard and specialized medical procedures as well as research and development. Both public and private hospitals offer quality treatments, although facilities and patient care are better in private hospitals.
English is a semi-official language in Israel, and many doctors and nurses will speak English. Many other hospitals and medical centers in Israel translate their websites into English, and online appointment requests are available in English. This does not guarantee you will be seen by an English-speaking doctor or nurse. Patients who do not speak Hebrew should request to see medical personnel who can speak English.
Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.
JCI-accredited hospitals/clinics in Israel: To read about specific facilities that are JCI-accredited, visit the Hospital Search section.
Israel-specific helpful health resources:
Travel health notices: Visit the CDC or the WHO for up-to-date travel notices.