Knesset calls to upgrade hospital emergency departments

July 1, 2010 04:16
1 minute read.

The Knesset State Control Committee, headed by MK Yoel Hasson, called on the Health and Finance ministries on Wednesday to implement a pilot project – dating back to 2000 but never carried out – to bolster the emergency departments in two hospitals via medical specialists and more beds.

The two ministries will have to report back on progress during the Knesset’s upcoming winter session.

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The demand was hailed by the Israel Medical Association, which has long been calling to upgrade emergency departments around the country.

The pilot project was intended to give financial incentives to specialists so such professionals would be on hand around the clock, rather than having to rush in to see patients who would ordinarily treated by less experienced, recently graduated doctors.

IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman said the pilot had not been implemented before because the two ministries had failed to allocate funds for it. All those who spoke at the session described serious conditions in the emergency rooms and said that patients died because of the lack of facilities and emergency specialists.

The severe problems in emergency rooms were discussed by the state comptroller in his report on the Health Ministry. The committee noted that Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said recently there would be “additional manpower slots and beds” in hospitals, with allocations expected to be in the state budget for 2011/2012.

The committee called for updating manpower standards set decades ago for emergency rooms so enough doctors and nurses could be on duty. Hasson said a session would be held soon on violence against doctors.

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