“The public is unaware of the drastic decline in hospitals’ ability to care for routine patients”


“Let me keep your eyes open: dealing with the number of difficult patients and the number of deaths is terrible and tragic, but reflects only a partial picture. This is not the explanation for the dramatic need to reduce infections and morbidity. What is hidden from the public and decision makers is “Because we do not have enough internal medicine doctors in the wards, because we do not have enough nurses, because we do not have enough auxiliary and paramedical forces, because we do not have enough hospital beds, because we do not have enough wards”; This was stated today (Wednesday) by Prof. Avishai Ellis, director of the internal medicine department at Beilinson Hospital and chairman of the Israeli Association of Internal Medicine, at a special press conference in which he warned about the inadequacies of the internal medicine departments already.

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Prof. Alice presented figures according to which more than 40% of the 111 inpatient wards in the hospitals have already been converted to the Corona wards – about 50 wards in total. “The number is rising every day,” he said. This means that there are currently only about 60 regular internal medicine departments in the hospitals, in which the ‘routine’ complex patients are hospitalized. According to him, this sharp reduction “has a tragic significance”, and it is the reduction of about 1,500 hospital beds from all the beds available in the internal medicine departments, a number that on weekdays stands at about 3,300.

Corona Department at Beilinson Hospital Photo: Dana Koppel

Prof. Alice firmly refuses to accept the Ministry of Health’s proposal to deal with this burden: the abolition of elective activity. “And no, stopping elective surgeries or solving hospitalization in private hospitals, will not fundamentally change things, because doctors and internal medicine departments is a specialty, and not lists of manpower and equipment to be filled and completed. The most relevant solutions for dealing with the corona plague – were already written a year and a half ago in the report of the Spa Committee for the Improvement of Internal Medicine, but it has been neglected and raised dust.

Prof. Avishai Alice Prof. Avishai Alice

“We went into Corona in a big crisis. Crowded in the internal departments. Lack of manpower,” Alice continued. “It’s hard to believe that after 7 months inside the Corona event we have to hold a press conference to raise a red flag. We are the officers and soldiers in this war on the virus – we are not involved in decision making, we do not meet departmental needs, we feel disconnected and ignorant. We have to deal with this war for survival, which we do not see the horizon of. ”

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