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August 21, 2007 14:29
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Israel's health system is not prepared for the next war, Chairman of the State Control Committee Zevulun Orlev claimed at a special meeting on the state's health status since the Second Lebanon War held by the committee on Tuesday. The meeting focused on an apparent lack of protection for the country's hospitals. Director of Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Professor Rafi Beir, criticized the government, saying that it was "evading its national obligation that ensures the security of the residents of northern Israel, by failing to transfer funds for the purpose of protecting hospitals. The state is renouncing its responsibility and tossing us to donors," Beir told the committee. Beir told Army Radio that regardless of whether the government allocates appropriate funds to his hospital, he would start building an underground fortified room there. According to the State Comptroller's report, both the Health Ministry and the Home Front Command had yet to decide upon regulations that would obligate hospitals to set up missile-defense systems. In July the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee released a report which stated that Israel was not ready for an attack involving unconventional missiles and that the country's level of preparation for such an event was the lowest it had been in the last two decades, Army Radio reported. The document harshly attacked the decision to collect civilians' gas masks. During the time of the war, the committee found, local authorities.

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