Teddy Kollek's vision led to the establishment a quarter of a century ago of the Sheikh Jarrah Community Health Center in eastern Jerusalem, which provides high-quality, interdisciplinary care to Arabs from the area.
About 100 Jewish and Arab doctors, nurses and technicians work together in the center, which was built at Kollek's initiative by the Jerusalem Foundation that he chaired and has been run since then by Clalit Health Services.
Dr. Yosef Frost, head of Clalit's Jerusalem district, told The Jerusalem Post that nowhere in the Middle East did the Arab population receive such excellent medical care as at Sheikh Jarrah, which is located near National Police Headquarters.
The 'Post' pays tribute to Teddy Kollek
When the Post suggested that the center be named in Kollek's memory, Frost said this was a good idea that should be explored, especially if a donor wanted to contribute to its expansion to remember Kollek.
"Sometimes people's contributions are appreciated more after their death than in life," he said.
Before the center opened, community health care to eastern Jerusalem Arabs was "very sporadic, not organized, not high level and not modern," Frost said. "Teddy and Clalit's chairman then, Prof. Chaim Doron, looked ahead and thought there needed to be a high-level community medical center to serve this population. It is very large, with day surgery, a women's health center, physiotherapy, a child health center, health prevention and promotion and specialists coming in from Hadassah, Shaare Zedek and Bikur Holim Hospitals. It is open from morning to night, and every day, hundreds of patients come. And it has raised the level of health in the eastern Jerusalem Arab population."