Figures released by Health Ministry reveal that while the ratio of doctors to patients in 2018 was 3.1 per 1,000, slightly less than the OECD average of 3.4, the ratio of nurses was 5 per 100,000 compared to an OECD average of 9.2.
Israel had 38,765 doctors in 2018 with 9,000 over retirement age.
Although Israel had 7,268 specialists – 2,000 more than in 2010 – there was a sharp shortage of specialists in gynecology, general surgery, clinical allergology and immunology, heart and chest surgery and psychiatry, but an eight-fold increase in pain-relief specialists and a doubling in emergency and trauma medicine.
Only 6.9 students per 100,000 completed medical studies in 2018 compared to an OECD average of 13.56, but 650 medical licenses were granted to people who studied medicine overseas, twice as many as in 2008.
There is a shortage of medical schools in Israel and cheaper and easier courses are offered in some European countries.