Thursday, May 3, 2007

In Israel electronically doesn't mean instant

I get my Teduat Zehut (identity card) on Sunday by picking it up at the NBN offices in Jerusalem. Without it I can't go to the Misrad Ha'klita or open a bank account. I do have a document called a Teduat Oleh, which looks like a passport, but is something that a new immigrant gets. I keep on hearing about its importance, but all I really know that it does is give Bnei Akiva money from the sochnut because I am a boger. I'll soon see what it actually is good for. Meanwhile with it and another piece of paper I went to the post office to get a form that lets me join a kupat holim(lit. sick fund, basically medical insurance). That is the only thing I can do in the bureaucracy chain that doesn't require a Teudat Zehut. I arrive at the post office and of course it is siesta, so I wait until 3:30. The post office workers get back earlier than that, but there is no way they will open it up until at least 3:32 at the earliest. To get free medical care for the first 6 months as an oleh, you need to pay 13.72 shekel. NBN had written down 12, I guess they need to tax you even on the fees you pay for your "free" services. The post office worker entered some information on a computer, scanned a printout had me sign something and that was it.

With the voucher from the post office I went to the Kupat Holim. I had chosen Klalit, purely for its location. There siesta ended at 4:00 so I waited around a bit. After some people pushed in front of me, I finally got to the desk armed with everything I needed. I lay it all out and say I want to join the Kupat Holim. The clerk starts to enter some data into her computer, and then enters some more information. Finally she looks up and says sorry you are not in the computer, did you go to the post office yet? I point to the form from the post office. I tell her I just came from the post office 45 minutes ago. Her response left me dumbfounded:
"Oh that was too soon, try coming back next week."

This was done by computers, it should be instant. Ok, if not instant, then at least overnight. How long could it take to transfer data, at worst there should be a nightly dump of data into the different systems.

Hey, at least I am Israeli now.

4 comments:

shani said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I thought that your preceding me in aliya was mostly of symbolic interest..now I see I will also be getting a preliminary taste of the experience through you. יהיה טוב
No Worries, mate.

Anonymous said...

Clalit doesn't have the best reputation.

Consider signing up with Maccabi or Meuchedet instead.

mother in israel said...

Yes, clalit is good for older people. Meuhedet has the best service.

seraphya said...

Does it matter that thier offices are much further away?