Israel’s Health Ministry ordered HMOs to immediately halt gender-segregated medical services for haredim after a report by Israel’s Attorney General documented the questionable practices – which may have been previously concealed from the public by Israel's former (Deputy) Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, a Gerer hasid.
Israel’s HMOs Ordered To Stop Haredi Gender-Segregation
Shmarya Rosenberg • Failedmessiah.com
Israel’s Health Ministry ordered HMOs to immediately halt gender-segregated medical services for haredim after a report by Israel’s Attorney General documented the questionable practices, Ha’aretz reported.
The gender segregation may have been previously concealed from the public by Israel's former (Deputy) Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, a Gerer hasid.
Gender-segregated clinic hours, gender-separate entrances, gender-separate waiting areas, and the like were found in HMOs operating in haredi areas of the country. This appears to violate High Court rulings forbidding public gender segregation.
For example, the report found that the Clalit HMO has a ‘kosher mehadrin’ HMO option that has completely gender-separate clinics for haredim.
The Health Ministry also ordered HMOs not to establish any new types of gender segregation not covered in the AG’s report.
Gender segregation in HMO clinics has dramatically increased because HMOs compete to appease haredi families which often switch from one HMO to another in blocs, similar to haredi bloc voting in elections.
Effective immediately, the HMOs will now have to allow mixed-gender entry and exit from all clinic entrances, and must post signs at all clinic entrances notifying patients of that change.
Also effective immediately, HMO clinics across the country are forbidden to have gender-separate hours. Clinics that now have gender-segregated waiting areas must add a mixed-gender area that is much larger, and each clinic’s staff is required to ensure that the gender-mixed waiting areas are easily accessible “without direct or indirect attempts to prevent patients from accessing the mixed area.”
Clinics that have completely gender-segregated buildings, so there is now one building for women and another for men, must give the Health Ministry a plan to transition within two years to completely gender-mixed clinics.