Hospital Manpower Shortage in Israel is “Life Threatening”


hospitalEvery winter, with the seasonal rise in patients needing hospitalization, Israeli hospitals suffer from lack of space. This year, the overload situation has reached critical proportions, and threatens to trigger a collapse of the entire health system. In some departments of major hospitals, occupancy has reached more than 200%.

As a direct result of these staggering statistics, Ezer Mizion has been flooded with requests for assistance. Branches across the country find themselves coping with a tremendous lack of volunteers to relieve family members of hospitalized patients, as well as volunteer drivers.

Chananya Chollak, Ezer Mizion’s International Chairman, called upon the hospitals to take on additional doctors and nurses and to add more hospital beds:

“Patients cannot be hospitalized in the hallways. The situation as it stands is difficult, painful, and imminently life threatening,” he said. 

He also urged the public to join Ezer Mizion’s hospital volunteer network. Volunteers who take turns at the patient’s bedside and tend to their needs not only relieve the overwhelmed family members; they also free the overburdened nurses to care for other patients.

Every day, large numbers of Ezer Mizion’s 11,000 volunteers, go to hospitals across the country to offer assistance to patients and their families. Ezer Mizion branch directors report that in the last few months, all the volunteers are on duty at the hospitals, and the requests for additional volunteers keep coming. Branch heads find themselves tragically unable to provide the burgeoning needs. “The major demand right now is for volunteer drivers to transport patients and their families to the hospitals, in view of the tremendous overload at the medical centers.”

Ezer Mizion turns to private car owners across the country to devote just an hour of their time a week/month on behalf of the poor patients who so desperately need this token assistance.

“Unfortunately, there are so many accidents and tragedies today. A person has to realize that he can do a tremendous chesed for the patients and their families with his car. Perhaps this chessed will protect him from tragedy. This is a great mitzvah and a spiritual acquisition that will remain his forever,” said Rabbi Chollak.

{Yair Israel}