Coronavirus: Hadassah stops accepting COVID-19 patients

Prof. Zev Rotstein, head of Hadassah, said that the hospital, located in Jerusalem, no longer had enough equipment or medicine to provide for new patients.

A nurse works in the new COVID-19 ICU for children at Hadassah-University Medical Center (photo credit: Courtesy)
A nurse works in the new COVID-19 ICU for children at Hadassah-University Medical Center
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Hadassah-University Medical Center told the Health Ministry in a letter on Monday that it could no longer take in any more coronavirus patients. 
Prof. Zeev Rotstein, head of Hadassah, said that the hospital no longer had enough equipment or medicine to provide for new patients. 
"People must realize this," he said, "we no longer have a large stock of medications or medical equipment, and what do we have must serve patients already being looked after.
"Our heart breaks," he added, "it is not impossible that Hadassah could run out of all medical supplies, and we will be forced to move patients to other hospitals where they could get better care." 
Hospital officials wrote to the Health Ministry and explained that due to the Health and Finance ministries offering to cover only some of the costs of medical supplies, the hospital had to stop buying new items on January 10. 
According to the letter, the hospital has 142 COVID-19 patients, and 87 of them are in critical condition. 
The officials also requested that emergency services stop delivering COVID-19 patients to the hospital. 
The announcement comes on the backdrop of a struggle between seven public hospitals and the government over public funding.
Public hospitals in Israel are independent organizations that rely mostly on donations, as opposed to facilities directly owned and funded by the government or the health funds. These hospitals, including Hadassah-University Medical Center, are currently in a deep financial crisis.
Last week, their directors had been protesting in front of the Finance Ministry asking to increase the budget their hospitals receive per bed, which is currently about half of what other hospitals receive, according to the organizers.

Last Thursday, several public hospitals announced that they would stop accepting ambulances carrying patients that do not require life-saving medical treatment, including coronavirus patients.
Rossella Tercatin contributed to this report.