The Health Ministry and its head, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, are under fire for severe overcrowding in the nation’s hospitals, some reporting 200% maximum capacity due to the flu season. Health Minister Yaakov Litzman explains these are primarily people who did not take advantage of the free flu vaccination.
When asked what the ministry is doing about the overcrowding, Litzman explains that in some cases, additional nursing and/or administrative staff has been added and in Sheba Medical Center, a new emergency room is under construction. The ministry has also added emergency centers to permit people to visit them prior to heading to an emergency room in the hope of reducing the load on the nation’s emergency rooms.
Litzman explains “I am well aware of the situation in emergency rooms and we are doing the maximum possible,” he told Ynet. He reminds the tzibur the situation repeats itself annually, each winter, citing “it’s not a picnic in an emergency room and anyone who can avoid coming should do so, calling on people to get vaccinated”.
He adds that based on ministry data, the flu is not hitting harder than average this year B”H but it remains the main reason for the increase this winter as in past years, predicting next year will be better than the current winter.
Some examples over overcrowding in hospitals:
- Hadassah Ein Kerem internal ward: 247% occupancy
- Hadassah Ein Kerem pediatric ward: 163%
- Hadassah Mt. Scopus internal ward: 169%
- Hadassah Mt. Scopus pediatric ward: 153%
- Laniado Hospital: 127%
- Rambam Hospital: 113%
- Rambam Hospital pediatric ward: 183%
- Sheba Medical Center pediatric ward: 171%
- Soroka Medical Centers pediatric ward: 123%
- Dana Children’s Hospital: 142%
- All other hospitals (adult units): 100%
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)