Yad Sarah 521.
(photo credit: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich)
Yad Sarah, working in cooperation with Shaare Zedek Medical Center (SZMC), will for the first time offer medical services to walk-in patients at its Jerusalem headquarters center during the evening hours for mild gynecological, pediatric and internal-medicine cases, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The facility, named the Frenkel Urgent Care Center, will open on September 14 a 30-second drive from Shaare Zedek at Yad Sarah on Herzl Boulevard. Shaare Zedek will provide experienced medical specialists and nurses to work after hospital hours at the facility. Ironically, it will compete with TEREM, the private urgent-care chain established by the late Dr. David Applebaum, who founded TEREM and was director of SZMC’s emergency department when he was murdered by terrorists at a café, with his daughter Na’ava, in 2003.
It will also probably compete with Hadassah-University Medical Center in Ein Kerem, at least for patients who need medical care but do not have to be hospitalized.
The center is being established by Yad Sarah founder and president Uri Lupolianski, a former Jerusalem mayor, whose organization has lent out medical equipment from 1976 and added many more services to help the elderly, sick and lonely since then. Besides lending out medical equipment from walkers to hospital beds for home use, it also provides a range of services, including transportation and daycare for the disabled, drop-in centers, emergency alarms and centers for the disabled to view equipment. Until now, it has not offered medical services, but has provided dental care to the needy elderly.
The opening on Yad Sarah headquarters’ ground floor will be made possible by a donation from Aaron and Maya Ruth Frenkel in memory of Mr. Frenkel’s parents Haim Yosef and Fruma Frenkel.
It is aimed at speeding up medical treatment in the capital and its environs for patients who are not seriously ill and do not need hospitalization. It is right near the Light Rail’s Yefeh Nof station and very accessible.
About 6% to 8% of those already seen by doctors at TEREM clinics need hospital treatment. Thus those patients who arrive at the Frenkel Center and are found to need more significant treatment would almost certainly be sent to Shaare Zedek rather than to a Hadassah- University Medical Center, either in Ein Kerem or on Mount Scopus, which are much more distant.
The center is now being equipped with imaging and x-ray equipment, and volunteers who will help are being trained.
It will provide care to members of all four health funds during evening hours until midnight when the insurers’ facilities are closed.
If a patient fractures a leg, for example, he will be able to borrow crutches or a wheelchair on the spot and be taken, if necessary, to a hospital emergency room via Yad Sarah’s wheelchair-accessible Nechonit vans.
Posters for advertising on the back of buses and at bus stations in the capital have already been prepared that give a new phone number, *6447 (Yad Sarah’s regular number is *6444) for the center.
The Post learned that Yad Sarah’s initial plans for a community medical facility began earlier this year. Asked to comment, the Hadassah Medical Organization spokeswoman said there had been initial negotiations with Yad Sarah, but “they did not develop into a deal for reasons that had no connection to exclusivity in providing nurses and doctors for it.”
Instead, with Hadassah out of the picture, SZMC offered to join the project.
“This is a win-win project for Yad Sarah and SZMC,” Shaare Zedek director-general Jonathan Halevy said when asked to comment. “It is only natural that we are involved in it, being so close.”
Last February, the Post was the first to report on Yad Sarah’s plans to open an urgent-care center, but it was thought then that Hadassah, and not SZMC, would be the medical partner. Lupolianki did not comment then or now.
Asked to comment in February, the Health Ministry said that anyone who opens a community emergency room not attached to a hospital need not have a license or even permission but did need licensed medical personnel and to meet accepted medical standards.