Hospital beds not keeping up with population growth

There were only 2.09 beds per 1,000 residents in 47 general hospitals in 2005, compared to 2.33 in 1995 and 3.27 in 1975.

February 7, 2007 18:06
1 minute read.
Hospital beds not keeping up with population growth

hospital bed 88. (photo credit: )


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The ratio of general hospital beds to Israeli residents continues to shrink and is among the lowest in the Western world, according to a report on medical institutions issued by the Health Ministry for publication on Thursday. The two volumes of statistics and charts totalled about 800 pages. There were only 2.09 beds per 1,000 residents in 47 general hospitals in 2005, compared to 2.33 in 1995 and 3.27 in 1975. While advanced medical technologies have shortened treatments and increased the number of day hospital treatments, the low ratio of beds to residents is regarded with growing concern by the ministry. There were 14,607 beds in general hospitals in 2005, compared to 13,105 a decade before, but the population grew by much higher rates during that period. At the same time, with the aging of the population, there were 21,764 long-term geriatric beds in public and private institutions in 2005, compared to 12,6876 in 1995. With the policy of treating most mental patients in day facilities in the community, the number of psychiatric hospital beds has been reduced from 6,789 in 1995 to 4,240 in 2006. Average stays in general hospitals have declined from eight days in 1975 to 4.2 days in 2005, with average occupancy rates at 95.9 percent now compared to 86.9% in 1995. The average stay in rehabilitation hospitals (after heart attacks, stokes, accidents and the like) was 41 days, which has remained steady since the 1990s. Fifty-seven percent of patients in the general hospitals were men, while women are hospitalized more often between the ages of 15 and 44 and over the age of 75. The rate of kidney dialysis is rising, with 0.63 patients per 1,000 residents undergoing dialysis for kidney failure compared to 0.1 in 1989.

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