16-3 Strengths and weaknesses of physical therapy services in Israel
Strengths and weaknesses of physical therapy services in Israel- Perception of physical therapy national directors / Tamar Jacob
Background: Physical therapy (PT) services in Israel are provided by all HMOs, as required by law. Awareness of the services' strengths and weaknesses is a prerequisite condition for the development of improvement programs based on priorities set by the service providers.
Aim: To describe the strengths and weaknesses of PT services in Israel, as perceived by PT national directors.
Method and population: Data collected in a qualitative study using in-depth personal interviews conducted with all ten PT national directors in Israel were then subjected to thematic analysis.
Results: The thematic analysis revealed clinical and administrative topics, recognized as sole strength, sole weaknesses or both (by different directors). The main strengths were the high level of professionalism, of treatment quality, and of the distribution of PT services throughout the country. The main weaknesses were lack of resources and insufficient implementation of the proactive treatment approach. The main controversial categories were expertise in unique areas, treatment availability, employee training, and employing conditions.
Conclusions: There is a disagreement between directors from different organizations regarding the majority of the topics raised during the interviews. These disagreements probably reflect actual differences between PT services, provided by different HMO's. These differences express inequality in physical therapy services which is in contrast to the spirit of the law.
Key words: Physical therapy services, strength, weakness, equality