Number of hospitalizations since the start of Iron Swords

25.10.2023

Recently released Ministry of Health data present the number of total hospitalizations since the beginning of the war, the number of new hospital intakes, and the number of hospitalizations of those in critical condition. Prof. Nadav Davidovitch, Chair of the Taub Center Health Policy Program and Head of the School of Public Health at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, has been tracking the status of the health system in Israel in the shadow of the war and relates to the data. “Israel is in one of the most challenging periods in its history and with it also the health system. The number of wounded and killed that the system is coping with is far greater than any emergency scenario, and in spite of this, the system in all of its parts, has responded beyond expectations.”

Prof. Davidovitch stresses that there is great importance to the maximum integration of all parts of the system – hospitalization, community care, public health, and mental health – especially now. “Today in Israel, beyond the issue of those killed, wounded, or taken hostage, there are tens of thousands who have been evacuated from their homes and are in need of comprehensive care. Unfortunately, the gaps between geographic areas and different parts of the system that are well known in everyday life are even more striking in time of war. While the system works to bridge these gaps, currently it is stretched to its limits in terms of labor force, and especially in specific areas, like mental health, the situation is particularly difficult. And this is not to mention the emotional toll on staff, including those who deal with the most difficult job of identifying the dead. Nevertheless, we cannot stop and simply deal with the physical wounds, we must also consider emotional aspects and the strength of the community.”

This week Prof.  Davidovitch participated in a meeting between the families working for the release of the hostages and those missing along with representatives of the World Health Organization, where they heard personal stories of the representatives of the families. “International efforts are taking place with all international health organizations, most importantly with the Red Cross and the World Health Organization, to give the hostages medical care, to provide information to the families who are living with tremendous uncertainty, and to return all of the hostages home as quickly as possible. I hope that these relationships that we have nurtured over years with international health organizations will bear fruit and will not be just empty declarations.”

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