Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa has opened emergency rooms to deal with the possibility of atomic, chemical or biological warfare in the future, the hospital announced on Wednesday.
The emergency rooms, which will also treat patients dealing with injuries and physical trauma as a result of earthquakes, were dedicated by philanthropist George Schaeffer at a cost of NIS 100 million. The nearly 3,000 square meter facility contains over 100 treatment beds.
“We are thrilled to inaugurate the emergency room building and protected day hospital. During times of peace as well as during times of emergency,” said Bnai Zion Medical Center CEO Ohad Hochman. “Haifa and the north (of Israel) will be able to access urgent care and day hospitalization with the most advanced hospital standards.”
Nuclear rhetoric rising
The inauguration of the emergency rooms comes as the possibility of nuclear warfare rises to heights not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1967. Vladimir Putin’s Russia, embroiled in conflict with Ukraine since February, has had multiple officials speak of or threaten to use nuclear weapons – including Putin himself.
"Those who are trying to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the wind can turn in their direction… This is not a bluff," Putin said in a pre-recorded speech in September.
“As a child of Holocaust survivors, there is nothing more important to me than the security, safety and prosperity of the State of Israel,” said Schaeffer, who also serves as Bnai Zion’s Chairman. “In recent years, the North of Israel had a vital and urgent need: A hospital in Northern Israel with a state of the art emergency room with reinforced concrete able to sustain missile attacks, chemical attacks and yes, even nuclear attacks,” Schaeffer declared.
“As a child of Holocaust survivors, there is nothing more important to me than the security, safety and prosperity of the State of Israel,”George Schaeffer
Bnai Zion Medical Center has experience dealing with combat wounds, as it was a major hospital during the 2006 Lebanon War. With over 500 wounded civilians treated during the war, the hospital itself became a hot target for enemy missiles –even suffering a direct rocket attack on its territory.
“Bnai Zion Medical Center’s latest building is this ethic of collective kindness personified. It represents a commitment by one of Israel’s best hospitals to protect those in need even in the face of terroristic threats,” Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm, CEO of the Bnai zion organization, concluded.