Health Ministry Swine Flu Warning for Winter


According to statements released on Monday by Health Ministry Director-General Professor Avi Yisraeli, swine flu is expected to hit hard this winter, compelling the healthcare community to prepare for such an eventuality.

Addressing the Knesset Health Committee, Yisraeli explained that despite all preparations, it appears there will be a shortage of 4,500 hospital beds for the victims who require hospitalization. He explained that 25% of the population may be infected, and some will require hospitalization. Even more ominous is the fact that he explained the experts predict some 700 people will die of swine flu and its complications, primarily the young, children.

The committee was discussing the purchase of millions of doses of vaccines, a move supported by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu but opposed by Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.

Every winter presents a challenge for Israel’s overtaxed medical system, usually unable to accommodate the ‘regular’ winter flu patients, usually presenting with patients admitted to hallways, emergency rooms and just anywhere a bed can be rolled. With the additional concerns of swine flu, the already overtaxed system will face even more difficulties. Some major hospitals encounter overcrowded conditions of 150% during flu season.

To date in Israel, there have been three swine flu-related deaths and some 20 people remain in serious condition in hospitals around the country.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. Why doesn’t the medinah build more hospitals?

    Why don’t they give money to expand Shaarei Tzedek? Why don’t they help in keeping Bikur Cholim open?

    Why doesn’t Beit Shemesh have a hospital? Doesn’t a 72,000 population (excluding the surrounding towns and villages) justify a hospital, when the closest one is 20 km / 30 minutes away, in Jerusalem?

    Why doesn’t Modi’in have a hospital? The Modi’in metropolitan area has 150,000 residents (incl. Maccabim-Reut, Modi’in Illit, Chashmonaim, Matityahu) and again – the closest hospital is 20 km / 30 minutes away.

    Don’t such cities have a hospital, in normal, advanced countries? In Europe they sure would have.

    Why isn’t there a hospital in Herzliyah, to serve the entire region including Raanana, Ramat Aviv and Ramat HaSharon?

    Why isn’t there a hospital anywhere between Rechovot and Ashkelon/Beer Sheva? Why not build a hospital in Kiryat Gat, serving Kiryat Malachi and other towns as well?

    Why isn’t there a hospital in Lod and Ramle at all?

    Why do Laniado in Netanya, Shaarei Tzedek and Bikur Cholim in Jerusalem, and Ger’s new small hospital in Ashdod, not receive any government funding?