Raz, Raanan, Marc G. Weisskopf, Michael Davidovitch, Ofir Pinto, and Hagai Levine. “Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorders Incidence by Sub-Populations in Israel 1992–2009: A Total Population Study.” Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 45.4 (2015): 1062-1069.
We analyzed data from the Israeli National Insurance Institute (NII). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) incidence was calculated for all children born in Israel 1992–2009, and by population groups. Overall, 9,109 ASD cases among 2,431,649 children were identified. ASD cumulative incidence by age 8 years increased 10-fold during 2000–2011, from 0.49 % to 0.49 %, while other child disabilities in NII increased only 1.65-fold. There was a consistent increase in ASD incidence with advancing birth cohorts born 1992–2004, stabilizing among those born 2005–2009. ASD rates among Israeli Arabs were substantially lower, and increased about 10 years later than the general population. The findings suggest a role for ASD awareness, accessing of the government benefit, or the way the concept of ASD is perceived.
This article explores the relation between economic liberalization, regulation and welfare. It asks how the state regulates, delays or prevents service disconnection due to debt and arrears, and what this kind of policy implies regarding the use of regulation as a form of social policy. This is done through a comparative study of the electricity and water sectors in Israel after liberalization. It finds that after initial economic reform, both sectors saw a growth in regulation intended to compensate for the social effects of reform, in what may be termed the ‘regulatory welfare state’. However, this form of social protection has been residual and incoherent. The article argues that trying to separate economic reform from its social consequences is unrealistic and may lead to adverse social and economic results. Second, findings raise concerns regarding the potential of the regulatory welfare state to deliver effective and fair social policy.
Meydan, Chanan, Ziona Haklai, Barak Gordon, Joseph Mendlovic, and Arnon Afek. “Managing the Increasing Shortage of Acute Care Hospital Beds in Israel.” Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 21.1 (2015): 79-84.
Israel’s healthcare system has been facing increasing hospital bed shortage over the last few decades. Community-based services and shortening length of stay have helped to ease this problem, but hospitals continue to suffer from serious overload and saturation. The objective of this study is to present hospitalization trends in Israel’s internal medicine departments.
The data is based on the National Hospital Discharges database (NHDR) in the Israeli Health Ministry, pertaining to hospitalizations in all internal medicine departments nationwide between 2000 and 2012.
Total yearly hospitalization days, representing healthcare burden, had increased by 4.2% during the study period, driven mainly by the most advanced age groups. The rate of total hospitalization days per 100,000 people for all the age groups has decreased by 17.6%, but the oldest patient group had a modest reduction in comparison (7.5%). The parameter of age correlated with length of stay and readmission rates, and neither decreased during the surveyed years.
These results demonstrated that the healthcare burden on acute internal medicine services has been reduced mostly for middle-aged populations but only modestly for elderly populations. The length of hospital stay and the readmission rates have reached and maintained a plateau in recent years, regardless of age. The findings of this study call for planning specific to elderly populations in light of changing demographics. Possible directions may include renewed emphasis on internal medicine and geriatric medicine, and efforts to shorten hospitalization time by extended utilization of multidisciplinary primary care.
This article introduces and explores two interesting phenomena: the phenomenon of alternative politics and attitudes toward the welfare state. The concept of alternative politics refers to a “do-it-yourself” approach where citizens on their own adopt extra-legal, and often illegal, strategies to improve the services provided by the government. Through a theoretical framework and empirical model, we explore the extent to which attitudes toward alternative politics strategies are influenced by sociodemographic variables and attitudes toward the welfare state. The study utilizes the distinction between normative perceptions (imputed preferences) and induced preferences. We show that short-term activities guided by the motivation of narrow self-interests do not necessarily reflect public attitudes or the values and norms that people hold vis-à-vis the public sphere. This finding may reflect the (mis)interpretation that politicians and decision makers make by concluding that short-term actions are indicative of long-term attitudes.