Professor Ofer Merin, Director General of Shaare Zedek Medical Center hosted a visit of Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein and MK Katy Sheetrit to the Jerusalem hospital today (Sunday.)
During the visit, joined by Shaare Zedek President Professor Jonathan Halevy, Professor Merin presented the hospital’s ongoing preparedness and challenges ahead of the projected increase in cases in the fall and winter months. Professor Merin further outlined the budgetary challenges facing Shaare Zedek resulting from the Corona virus and budgetary inequalities between government funded hospitals and public-private medical centers like Shaare Zedek.
The Minister and MK visited the hospital’s Corona units and met with the medical and nursing staff discussing specific obstacles involved in caring for COVID 19 patients.
Minister Edelstein said, “Our health system is working to be best prepared for the winter with the goal of being ready to confront Corona and the seasonal flu at the same time. In the coming days we’ll approve the addition of 12 more ICU beds to Shaare Zedek in addition to the 14 currently in place. I am sure that the residents of Jerusalem will receive the professional healthcare they need in dealing with what lies ahead.”
Professor Merlin said, “Since the first days of this period, Shaare Zedek has been operating on the forefront of this battle against Corona and now we need the support of the Government to continue with the many activities this entails. The inequality that has existed in our health system for many years has become ever-more apparent over the last half year and it is incumbent upon the a State to address this issue. I thank the Minister and MK Sheetrit for the visit and am very pleased to see that the Minister and the professional staff appreciate the needs of Shaare Zedek and I very much hope this will lead to comprehensive solutions for the challenges facing public-private hospitals.”
MK Sheetrit, who serves on on the Finance and Labor, Welfare and Health Committees added, “This visit comes following a Knesset session I initiated last week in the Finance Committee addressing the budgetary challenges facing the public-private hospitals. This visit revealed up-close the hard work of the staff and the many challenges the hospital is facing both on the financial and operational levels as a result of Corona and the large gap that exists between support of government hospitals and public-private hospitals. I also raised the issue of the activities of the health funds which prevent patients from choosing which hospital they will be treated in. This is an issue which demands reform and I have full confidence in the leadership of the Minister and his office.”