Israel runs out of hospital beds – report

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 Israel lacks hospital beds – report

The Ministry of Health said on Thursday that the number of hospital beds in general, psychiatric, rehabilitation and geriatric hospitals in Israel is well below the average in developed OECD countries.

A report titled “Licensed Hospital Beds and Workplaces, December 2022” by Ziona Haklai, head of the ministry's health information department, shows that the number of emergency care beds in Israel is only 2.0 per 1,000 people, a figure well below the OECD average of 3.5. In most of the local hospitals, patients are still lying in the corridors due to the lack of rooms, equipment and enough doctors and nurses.

The bed rate for acute psychiatric treatment is 0.3 per 1,000 people (OECD average 0.4) and the proportion of rehabilitation beds is 0.3 (OECD average 0.5). long-term care is 2.9 per 1,000 people aged 65 years and over (OECD average of 3.6) and hospice beds are 16.9 per 1,000 people aged 65 years and over (OECD average – 41.0).

Only 461 general hospital beds were added nationwide in 2022, leaving the number of hospitalization beds in Israel still low by all comparisons .

Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov, an economist, says: “Many hospital beds have been added over the past decade, most in the northern and southern regions, primarily at the expense of the periphery”

“In the long term there is a national plan that includes allocation of hospital beds until 2048 and will double the number of Israeli hospital beds”,– he added.

It is also noted that waiting lists to see a specialist doctor in almost all areas in the clinics of the state health fund are extremely long, due to a deficit of four health funds of 4 billion shekels.

Last year, of the 461 beds added for standard general hospitalization, 54 were in oncology wards; 50 in neurology, 49 in internal medicine, 49 in general surgery, 48 in cardiac resuscitation, 38 in general resuscitation, 30 in pediatric, 22 in pediatric intensive care, 22 in obstetrics/gynecology and the rest in other departments. The norm of beds was 1,746 per 1000 people, which is only 1% more than in the previous year.

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