Clalit, the largest of Israel's four state-mandated health service organizations, insures 1.3 million Arab citizens of Israel (71% of all Arab citizens). Nevertheless, and despite the widespread transition to online services, only the smallest fraction of the online information that Clalit provides to its members is available in Arabic. Clalit’s online services cannot be accessed nor executed in Arabic. As a result, we appealed to Clalit’s Chief Executive Officer to demand that all information be made available in Arabic to ensure its accessibility.
In our appeal, ACRI Attorney Tal Hassin noted that the absence of online Arabic-language services, and therefore the lack of accessible, comprehensive, and thorough information in their native language, is a major barrier to medical care. This inaccessibility has created a situation where many Clalit-insured Arab citizens are unable to perform health and insurance-related activities and decisions on their own. Arabic-speakers are not afforded the same access to information that is provided to Hebrew speakers. Information, actions, and decisions in the context of health-care are oftentimes critical and urgent. Therefore, the absence of information in Arabic and lack of access for the Arabic-speaking population violates the population’s rights to equality, health, and dignity, and it contradicts the obligations to which health-care providers are bound, as decreed by administrative law and anti-discrimination prohibitions.
On 31.8.2021, the Clalit Health Fund's management provided a response in agreement with our claims and detailed the steps that it is taking in order to make the information it publishes accessible to the Arabic-speaking public.