New in Israel: regulations for physical accessing of health facilities

A nurse and a patient in a wheelchair

On March 8, 2016, new regulations for physical accessing of health facilities in Israel were approved.

The new regulations mandate physical accessing of buildings and their surrounding in all hospitals, clinics, HMO facilities, Ministry of Health buildings as well as other key clinics of imaging testing, child development and the like.

Among the required accessibility adaptations are:

  • Persons with disabilities will have consecutive accessible pathway into parking lots, public transportation stations and facilities, from the sidewalk to the facility.
  • Special parking spots, pathways, elevators and lifts, restrooms, accessible signage, handle bars in passageways, markings of glass doors and windows and vocal and visual locking mechanisms are to be installed everywhere
  • All information and service stations will be wheelchair accessible on the one hand and accessible to hearing impaired persons with an inductive loopset.
  • Inspection and treatment rooms in hospital wards will be accessible, especially to people in wheelchairs.
  • Accessible dressing stations, including padded surfaces and special showers will be installed.
  • No less than 10% of the beds in every ward will be adapted to people with disabilities.

The Regulations of Equal Rights for Persons with Disability (accessibility adaptations of health services and the places of provision) 2016
were put in place under the Equal Rights for Persons with Disability Act 1998.

Once these regulations are in force, each health institute will prepare an accessibility plan, and the Minister of Health will issue a decree regarding the gradual deployment of accessibility, so in several years all hospitals and clinics will be fully accessible as detailed above.

Accessibility regulations are currently drafted for private clinics and doctors who work from home or in other private facilities.

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