A doctor stands with stethoscope in this undated handout photo..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Now that all the authorities concede that the periphery has been neglected and has inadequate medical and social-welfare facilities, a promising development in the Negev is the scheduled opening in two years of ALEH’s neuro-orthopedic rehabilitation hospital for children with severe and complex disabilities.
Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman visited the site of the future rehabilitative hospital at ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, which is to have state-of-the-art facilities to meet the urgent needs of residents in the southern region, providing long-term rehabilitative care following accidents, strokes or severe injuries or wounds.
Thanks to significant financial support by the Finance, Interior, Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Construction ministries and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, the hospital will feature three, 36-bed inpatient wards specializing in neurological, spinal and orthopedic rehabilitation and will utilize advanced technologies including robotics and virtual reality. The development of a sports center, public facilities for outpatient services and a research center are also planned for future stages of construction.
“The Negev can no longer be considered the periphery, because the desert is blooming more than ever before. Israel’s South is a beautiful place in which to work and live, and this facility will enhance it further, making quality rehabilitative care accessible to everyone in the region,” said Litzman during the ceremony.
“I don’t usually attend cornerstone-laying ceremonies, because one never knows if the project will actually reach completion. But ALEH’s track record of tireless work on behalf of Israelis with disabilities is unrivaled, and I am confident that this project will be successful,” he added.
Though there is a shortage of rehabilitative solutions throughout the country, the residents of Israel’s southern region are especially underserved. The problem is so severe that patients from the Negev are invariably referred to hospitals in the center of the country, taking them far from their homes and families for appropriate care. ALEH heads said that the neuro-orthopedic rehabilitation hospital will fill this care gap by providing quality long-term rehabilitative care in a fully supportive medical environment to residents of the Negev and IDF soldiers serving in nearby Gaza.
“We believe that the residents of the South deserve the same care as those in every other part of the country,” said Maj.-Gen. (res.) Doron Almog, the chairman of ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran and the recipient of the 2016 Israel Prize.
The village was founded “on the principle that a person is a person no matter what, and this hospital will continue what we started. In this place, all people will be provided with the best possible care and loved beyond measure,” said Almog.
“As an added benefit, those undergoing treatment at the hospital will be able to use the facilities and services of the entire rehabilitative village, enhancing the level of patient care tremendously. There is no other place like ALEH Negev in the world, and our goal is to expand our village and establish the very best rehabilitation facility in all of Israel.”
Though President Reuven Rivlin was forced to cancel his appearance at the event at the last moment, his wife, Nechama, took his place for the ceremony. Also in attendance were Deputy Interior Minister Meshulam Nahari; Shai Hajaj, head of the Merhavim Regional Council; KKL-JNF world chairman Danny Atar; Eric Michaelson, chief Israel officer for JNF-USA; Yehuda Marmorstein, director-general of ALEH centers; and Avi Wortzman, CEO of ALEH Negev.
ALEH Negev-Nahalat Eran, one of four ALEH facilities across Israel, has since 2005 provided a continuum of residential care for more than 200 children with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities as they grow from adolescents into young adults.
In addition to providing services and outpatient care to thousands from the South, ALEH also invests heavily in the region, employing close to 300 local residents.
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