Israel: migrant health guide

Advice and guidance on the health needs of migrant patients from Israel for healthcare practitioners.

Main messages

If the patient is new to the UK:

Due to a low prevalence, ascertain any risk factors for hepatitis B infection that may indicate the need for screening.

There is a risk of typhoid infection.

Consider nutritional and metabolic concerns.

Infectious diseases


Ensure that all patients, especially children, are up-to-date with the UK immunisation schedule. See Immunisation collection with complete schedules.


There is a low incidence of TB in Israel (<40 cases/100,000), so:

  • routine screening for TB is not required
  • consider testing in patients (including children) who show signs and symptoms
  • be aware that TB is a notifiable disease

Sexually transmitted infections and HIV

Take a sexual history, and:

  • screen for STIs and HIV according to risk as specified in the UK national standards and guidelines
  • test all sexually active patients under the age of 25 for chlamydia

Israel has a low rate of HIV (≤1%), so offer and recommend an HIV test if the patient:

  • falls into a high risk group
  • is newly registering in a high prevalence area

Hepatitis B

Israel has a low prevalence of hepatitis B, so:

  • offer screening for hepatitis B to all pregnant women during each pregnancy
  • immunise appropriately babies born to mothers who are hepatitis B positive, and follow up accordingly
  • be aware that the UK has a universal infant immunisation programme for hepatitis B and a selective immunisation programme for higher risk groups

Hepatitis C

The prevalence of hepatitis C is higher than the UK, so consider screening for hepatitis C if other risk factors apply.


There is a risk of typhoid infection in Israel, so:

  • ensure that travellers to Israel are offered typhoid immunisation and advice on prevention of enteric fever
  • remember enteric fever in the differential diagnosis of illness in patients with a recent history of travel to or from Israel

Travel plans and advice

Ask opportunistically about any travel plans the patient may have to visit friends and relatives in their country of origin. People who travel to visit friends and relatives (VFR travellers) should visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for overseas travel advice and National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) for country specific travel advice prior to leaving the UK

Nutritional and metabolic concerns


There is a moderate risk of anaemia in adults (estimated prevalence in non-pregnant women is 20 to 40%) and a mild risk in pre-school children (estimated prevalence 5 to 20%), so:

  • be alert to the possibility of anaemia in recently arrived migrants, particularly women and pre-school children
  • test as clinically indicated

Vitamin D

Consider the possibility of vitamin D deficiency in people who may be at risk due to:

  • darker skin
  • those who are not often outdoors
  • those who cover up most of their skin when outdoors


There may be a risk of risk of mild iodine deficiency due to inadequate intake.

Women’s health

Reproductive health indicators

Reproductive health indicator UK Israel
Number of children per woman¹ 1.7 3.0
Use of contraception² 71.7% 68.0%

¹lifetime average; ²by woman of reproductive age or partner

Country profile

Health indicators and health care

WHO Global Health Observatory has a summary of health indicators and health care in Israel.

Culture, politics and history

BBC News and The World Factbook provides background information on the culture, politics and history of Israel.


The main languages used in Israel are:

  • Hebrew (official)
  • Arabic (special status under Israeli law)
  • English (most commonly used foreign language)

Source: The World Factbook


Religion Population (%)
Jewish 74.1
Muslim 17.9
Christian 1.9
Druze 1.6
Other 4.5

Source: The World Factbook

Migration to the UK

There were almost 18,000 people from Israel living in England and Wales at the time of the 2011 Census.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Published 31 July 2014
Last updated 13 January 2023 + show all updates
  1. Reference to the prevalence of HTLV-1 infection has been removed because it is not endemic in Israel

  2. Updated country guidance on prevalence of communicable diseases and other health topics.

  3. First published.