In light of recent developments, we are taking this chance to be back in direct touch regarding Shaare Zedek’s Corona response.
Knowing that this period continues to be challenging, we begin with our sincere hope that you and your families are healthy and well. We further hope that you are all best responding to this difficult reality – one that we unfortunately will have to deal with for some time into the future.
As you are all likely aware, Israel is once again facing a steep increase in positive Corona cases. While we all anticipated that with the lessening of restrictions a few weeks ago there would be an increase, there is no disputing that this sharp level of growth is very unsettling from the social, economic and public healthcare perspectives. Our foremost concern is for the ability of the hospital to respond to any current or future waves. It is therefore helpful to point out that while the case numbers are on the rise, the level of serious cases still remains low – although over the past days we are now beginning to see a slow but sustained increase. At the very moment of this writing, we have 23 patients and only one serious case, which is nowhere near our peak during the first wave. This is encouraging. However, we are also forced to recognise that we have about twice as many patients as just a week ago, so the curve is moving up at a rapid pace.
The situation is one in which we are optimistic that the numbers won’t lead to a massive burden on the hospital, but we must be ever-prepared that this could very well take place. Our work crews are currently working on re-opening our Keter A Unit, which served as our main Unit (at present Corona cases are treated in Keter C) and we are undergoing constant review to be prepared should additional spaces need to be allocated. As always, we are inspired by the dedication of our staff to volunteer to work in these departments and know that their “on-the-job” training during the first wave will be instrumental in enhancing our care for whatever lies ahead.
We are forced to acknowledge that any increase in Corona cases has the potential to lead to a decrease in overall hospital activity as people naturally stay away and defer procedures and appointments. This results in further financial strain and uncertainty as to whether we might be forced to again temporarily close certain areas of the hospital.
While the challenges are many, we remain focused on the goal of responding to whatever the needs might be. We know that the service we have provided in recent months has helped strengthen Shaare Zedek’s status as a national and even international leader – as a hospital that rises in times of crisis and adapts to the demands placed upon us.
This has been our mandate for close to 120 years and, as unprecedented as this crisis might be, we, are committed to doing whatever is necessary, together with support of our friends around the world.
We promise to continue to update you as the situation develops but hope that, despite all we are experiencing, this summer can be one of enjoyment and most of all health for you and your families.
Ofer Merin, MD
Jonathan Halevy, MD Director General President