Assessment of the Israeli healthcare system's functionality among Ultra-Orthodox Jews and Non-Ultra-Orthodox Jews
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Jerusalem College of Technology, Israel
Global Public Health Department, Jerusalem College of Technology, Israel
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1529
Background: Ultra-Orthodox Jews constitute approximately 13% of the Israeli population. A previous study based on the 2017 Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) Social Survey found a lower level of trust in the Israeli healthcare system among ultra-Orthodox Jews compared to non-ultra-Orthodox Jews. During the COVID-19 pandemic, compliance rates with health regulations were relatively low among ultra-Orthodox Jews; numerous interventions were introduced to increase compliance. This study aimed to evaluate ultra-Orthodox Jews’ and non-ultra-Orthodox Jews’ assessment of the Israeli healthcare system’s functionality based on data from the 2021 Social Survey. Methods: Data collected from the 2021 CBS Social Survey examined the associations between sociodemographic variables and assessment of the healthcare system’s functionality. Results: 5995 Israeli Jews participated in the study, of which 81% were non-ultra-Orthodox Jews and 9% were ultra-Orthodox Jews. Associations between age, income, education, religious level, self-reported health status, feelings of discrimination in the previous year, and trust in the healthcare system and assessment of healthcare system functionality were found. 16.2% of non-ultra-Orthodox Jews and 27.4% of ultra-Orthodox Jews gave high scores to the functionality of the healthcare system. Multivariate regression showed higher scores of functionality among ultra-Orthodox Jews compared to non-Ultra-Orthodox Jews (OR=1.89, 95%CI=1.87,1.91), even after adjusting for sex, age, income, education, self-reported health status, use of healthcare services, trust in the healthcare system, and feelings of discrimination in the previous year. Differences were found between the groups in relation to the position of the sociodemographic variables in predicting higher assessment of healthcare system functionality. Conclusions: Further research is required to investigate the changes that occurred in the level of trust in the healthcare system among different groups following the pandemic. These must also account for population-based interventions introduced by the healthcare system.