‘I won’t let Bikur Cholim close,’ says Gamzu

Health Ministry director-general tells ‘The Jerusalem Post’ that hospital now being run “in an impressive manner.”

Dr. Ronni Gamzu

Dr. Ronni Gamzu Photo: Sourasky Medical Center

After years of financial trouble, Jerusalem’s Bikur Cholim Hospital is now being run “impressively” by the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Health Ministry director-general Ronni Gamzu told The Jerusalem Post after visiting the downtown institution on Wednesday.

“As long as I am director-general, I will not allow the Bikur Cholim campus to close,” he added. “There is a need for it.”

“I visited the hospital six months after my last visit, when there was a serious danger of its closure and all the staffers were being dismissed,” Gamzu said. “It is now four-and- a-half months since we chose Shaare Zedek to take it over and run it, and I saw a stable institution that is being run in an impressive manner. There are better medical standards than before.”

The emergency room, which is being run by the private chain of TEREM urgent care clinics, has twice as many people coming in for help, Gamzu said.

“A new CT scan is being installed, and we intend next month to present Shaare Zedek with a new license to run the two campuses as one unit. I visited the neonatal intensive care unit, and it’s much better than before. There are 6,000 annual deliveries, just as before,” the director-general said.

Bikur Cholim under Shaare Zedek management has fewer inpatient departments, but it offers more ambulatory services and diagnostics. About 60 percent of the whole campus of two buildings divided by the busy Strauss Street is functioning.

Located near the Geula quarter, the hospital has a largely ultra-Orthodox patient population, especially in the field of obstetrics/gynecology.

To accompany Gamzu on his tour and answer his questions, all the senior executives of Shaare Zedek, including director- general Prof. Jonathan Halevy, traveled to Bikur Cholim via light rail from the first train station in the south to the center of town about seven stops away.

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