15 -3 Regulation of Physical Therapy Services in Israel
Regulation of Physical Therapy Services in Israel- Views of physical therapy Directors
Tamar Jacob, Yogev Garame, Renana Patena, Ayala Parag
Physical therapy (PT) treatments are included in Israel’s basket of healthcare services covered by the National Health Care Law of 1994. These services must meet the standards and regulations required by the Ministry of Health (MOH), which regularly conducts audits of healthcare services.
Purpose: To describe the method of regulation of PT services.
Method: Qualitative research, based on semi-structured personal interviews with the national PT service directors of each of the HMOs in Israel, followed by content analysis of the data.
Results: The directors agreed that the regular audits of PT services conducted by the MOH are important and help improve the quality of PT services in Israel. The preparation for an upcoming audit serves as a platform for developing and improving services. Directors use the audit both as a tool for internal evaluation of services and to leverage development of PT services within the organization. The MOH audits only health services provided under its auspices, and refrains from auditing health services provided either by other ministries, such as the Ministry of Welfare or the Ministry of Education, or services provided in private clinics that are not affiliated with the HMOs.
Conclusions: Audits performed by the MOH do not encompass all health care service providers, as required by law: services provided under the auspices of other ministries are audited by other bodies; consequently, these providers are not required to abide by the same standards as those enforced by the MOH. In addition, the audits performed by the MOH are merely procedural, and do not evaluate the quality of the professional services. The directors believe there is a need to audit all services equally, regardless of the entity that provides them.
Key words: Physical therapy, regulation, control, public service
The study was funded by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research.