PHOTOS: State Comptroller Judge Yosef Shapira Visits Magen David Adom

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(PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)

The State Comptroller of Israel, former judge Yosef Shapira, on Wednesday, 2 Rosh Chodesh Elul, visited MDA’s National Command and Control Center in Kiryat Ono. During his visit, the Comptroller received a thorough briefing of the wide variety of services offered by the organization, among which are MDA’s blood services, the Life Guardians project and the “My MDA” mobile application.

In addition, he received a briefing of MDA’s national volunteer system that includes thousands of civilians ready to save lives 24/7. During the visit, he was exposed to MDA’s operational activity that includes 1,000 ambulances and mobile intensive care units, 500 Medi-Cycles, e-Bikes, two helicopters, and over 30,000 volunteers (adults and youth alike), employees and Life-Guardians. The comptroller was briefed on MDA’s ability to call all standby First Responders to emergencies country-wide using a mobile app that locates the nearest available First Responders simultaneously while dispatching ambulances and mobile intensive care units to the scene.

The comptroller was also briefed on MDA’s operational dispatch center – the ‘101’ emergency hotline, and was exposed to the amount of calls handled by the EMTs and paramedics at the dispatch center 24/7: on average, a call is received at MDA’s dispatch center every 15 seconds; all calls are answered in under 4 seconds by an EMT or paramedic. Every 38 seconds an ambulance is dispatched, and overall, the rescue organization tends to 2 million emergency calls and dispatches 800,000 ambulances yearly.

During the briefing, the Comptroller expressed interest in the aspect of payment to MDA’s services required by all civilians of Israel under law, and further stated that the state must find a solution to the problem and free civilians from the payment burden.

MDA Director-General, Eli Bin, informed the State Comptroller that the organization is on the brink of a revolution that would enable to extract civilians from the circle of payments by MDA operating directly with health insurance companies to charge the different payments. Bin further explained that MDA isn’t funded by the state despite executing every project it is assigned. For example, establishing a refugee clinic as well as other activities required by the state. He further pointed out that not all local municipalities fund the mobile intensive care units stationed in their vicinities requiring MDA to fund them.

MDA VP, Director of Blood Services, Prof. Eilat Shinar, briefed the comptroller on the activities of MDA’s blood services which circulate approximately 1,300 units of blood daily, provide a new service for identifying donors’ blood types as well as new tests that improve blood unit quality. MDA’s blood services activity is coordinated with the Ministry of Health, the IDF and hospitals in order to answer all blood requirements on the field.

State Comptroller Shapira: “I remember as a child, the day the first MDA stamp was issued, approximately 60 years ago. I couldn’t sleep at night due to the excitement and as an avid stamp collector I hurried to get my hands on the historical green stamp. MDA is a body in charge of saving lives, ‘he who has saved one soul, is as if he has saved a whole world’, and you here, at MDA, save whole worlds every hour. The state has the duty to fund MDA activities in order to enable saving lives in the best possible way.”

Bin added, “I would like to thank the State Comptroller for dedicating from his time to visit MDA and taking interest in learning and familiarizing with the activity of Israel’s national rescue organization in support of the cause of saving lives. I am confident that his visit, his will and efforts will benefit emergency medicine in Israel.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)