Santé Israël isn’t just a web site – albeit an incredibly rich, information-laden web site – anymore. It is also creating real-life community. We’ve already rolled out the web site and Facebook page, and the next step is to create a real-life community surrounding the virtual one for French-speaking immigrants – one that will better enable access to Israel’s health care system and improve the community’s health care.
Since the beginning of March we’ve been bringing the electronic information to the people. We began in Bayit Vegan. Sante’s coordinator, Marie Avigad, introduced the web site to a group of 15 – 20 women. The women were very enthusiastic and interested in the web site, for themselves as well as for friends and relatives here, as well as those in France. They asked about different aspects relating to Israeli health care – prescriptions, referrals, hospital and outpatient coverage, payment for ambulance, emergency medicine hubs, medical interpretation, what the site tells about the different HMO’s.
The hit of the evening – an information sheet about how to prepare for a trip to the doctor, as well as the link to the WAZE social GPS app that is embedded in the site. Thus, a patient can be guided to the nearest clinic / hospital via WAZE, via the site. At the end of the evening, the women asked how to put a shortcut to the site on their cellphone screens so they always have it handy.
Our next stop was Har Homa. There, the evening included not only an introduction to Sante Israel, but also a lecture by nutritionist Yael Sayag-Shofen from the Maccabi HMO, who spoke about the myths of nutrition, or how to promote good health thanks to a truly balanced diet.