Israeli Hospitals Collapsing: “Soon We’ll Have To Decide Who Will Live & Who Will Die”

Medical personnel wearing protective equipment cover the body of a man who died from COVID-19, in the intensive care ward for coronavirus patients at Shaarei Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, November 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israel’s hospitals are overwhelmed with a soaring number of seriously ill coronavirus patients and hospital officials say that they are running out of ICU beds.

The sad incident on Friday when a coronavirus patient died after overworked medical staff failed to notice that his ventilator had malfunctioned will likely not be an isolated incident, hospital directors say.

“If until now we thought that we’ll manage to handle [this wave], even the most optimistic among us are skeptical now,” a senior doctor in one of Israel’s hospitals told B’Chadrei Chareidim. “It’s hitting us in waves – for every patient you release, another three are hospitalized. And for every three virus patients, you know that there’s a strong possibility that one of them will leave in a coffin. I apologize for being blunt but believe me that the reality is even worse.”

“It won’t be long until we reach the situation that Italy was in at the beginning of the pandemic – when it became necessary to choose whom to ventilate and whom not.”

Dvir, whose father is hospitalized in serious condition, told B’Chadrei that the medical staff is collapsing under the load. “I saw a doctor who simply began crying that he can’t anymore. He went outside and collapsed on the bench and said to himself: ‘I can’t anymore,’ and cried like a baby.”

And it’s not just coronavirus patients who are suffering from the overload but the entire medical system. “We’re canceling surgical procedures,” Prof. Tzvi Shimoni, the medical director of Laniado Hospital told Channel 12 News. “I’m already a doctor for 40 years and I’ve never witnessed such difficult scenes and an overload like this.”

Lydia Lanksner, the head nurse of the ICU at the hospital, said: “We’re running the coronavirus ICU unit at the expense of the general ICU. It’s simply ridiculous that we need to close one service in order to operate another.”

Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Chezy Levy contacted hospital directors earlier this week and instructed them to add beds to coronavirus wards due to the surge in infections.

Levy said that Israel is aiming to have a total of 3,200 beds for coronavirus patients, 1,200 more than the current number. If the goal is reached, a quarter of Israel’s hospital beds will be designated for coronavirus patients.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. And the mindless politicians are still debating whether to shut down travel in and out of the country and what types of exceptions to make. They started “studying” this last week and still are dithering.

  2. They could bring in plenty of available nurses from the Diaspora, but the Israeli bureaucracy is too obstinate to reopen its skies & borders, and wave the 2 week quarantine [except of-course for politicians].

  3. I don’t understand. Israel gave the most in the world of the miracle vaccine that everyone is touting. If this is so, why are there so many seriously ill patients?

  4. One question: Why is Israel not dispensing any of the new drugs that have proven effective against COVID?
    Are they giving their hospitalized patients steroids? Are they giving them Regeneron, Ivermactin and other monoclonals? And if started very early on, hydroxychlorquine?
    Do the doctors know about these?
    If I, and the YN readers know about them, can we assume that Israeli docs know, also? Then their patients shouldn’t get so sick, and not even need hospitalization??!!
    Or, are these meds tied up in politics while people are dying?
    I ask YWN: Can you propose these to the Health Minister in Israel??

  5. HopeforGeula,

    The clinical trials for monoclonals have been disappointing and have proven that hydroxychloroquine is useless if not dangerous. You are peddling false hope. The only ways to reduce your risk of dying from COVID are to wear masks, maintain social distance, avoid mass spreading events, and (when and where available) get faccinated. Unfortuntely much of the orthodox Jewish community seems incapable of doing the first three.