With maranan verabbonon on hand along with rabbonim and Deputy Health Minister MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, other top ministry officials, ministers, MKs, heads of cities and public figures, a cornerstone-laying event for a new hospital to be built at the former site of the City of Bnei Brak warehouses. The complex, which is the first project of its kind anywhere in the world, will be built in cooperation with the Health Ministry, and includes emergency rooms, outpatient clinics, one-day hospitalization, hospital wards and a rehabilitation center that so far has cost $13 million.
“Mental illness is one of the most painful problems families can cope with,” said Dr. Moshe Rothschild founder of the Maayanei Hayeshua Medical Center. “Unlike physical sickness, mental illness is widely perceived as a much more dangerous problem. Mental illness is seen as untreatable, alarming and unfamiliar, automatically creating repulsion and embarrassment. Therefore a mental health patient who is not treated suffers a double blow: a lack of medication and rejection by his own family members. His silent cry fills the home with a great scream, yet nobody can hear.”
The mental health hospital will be built to high standards on seven floors and the 11,000 square meters of will include a 24-hour emergency room and separate wards. Other departments will include outpatient clinics, adults, children and psycho-geriatrics, a day treatment unit, a day center for children, consulting services for schools and other educational institutions. The hospital will provide innovative treatment, including animal therapy, and will feature a fitness room. Upon opening, all of the services currently provided in nearby clinics will be transferred to the hospital.
Since its outpatient clinics were built six years ago, the number of patients has grown tremendously. According to medical director Dr. Michael Buntzel, “If in 2004 698 adults were treated in 4,732 visits, in 2009 1,839 adults were treated in 18,048 visits. Similar figures are seen for the number of child patients; while in 2008, when the specialized clinics were set up, 24 children were treated, whereas in 2009, 276 children were treated. In the new unit for daytime care, opened one year ago, the figures are similar and the unit operates five days a week in 20 treatment stations that are fully occupied. These figures serve as a painful reminder of the need for a suitable framework for treating these patients from the chareidi and religious sectors, We now know that 45 percent of adults seeking clinical treatment and approximately 70% of children would not seek treatment at other clinics that are not able to meet their special needs.”