Meir Medical Center: innovation for the nation

Dr. Yaron Mushkat, general manager of the Meir Medical Center, which is part of the Clalit Health Services, speaks with The Jerusalem Post

Meir Medical Center (photo credit: RAMI ZARNEGAR)
Meir Medical Center
(photo credit: RAMI ZARNEGAR)
The  coronavirus  has  caused great havoc worldwide. Most people  believed  that  the development of new drugs, medical  devices,  and  cutting-edge treatments  have  overcome  most maladies. In some ways, COVID-19 was a wake-up call.
COVID-19 was a shock not only to  the  public  but to the medical establishment as well. It was largely unprepared for such a pandemic, and it had to adapt very quickly to the new realities.
Dr. Yaron Mushkat is the general manager of the Meir Medical Center, which is part of the Clalit Health Services. 
In a talk with The Jerusalem Post, he explains how Meir Hospital met the tremendous challenges posed by the pandemic and how it will affect the  medical  establishment  in  the future.
He says, “The pandemic surprised the whole world.  
The  medical establishment  is  prepared  to  deal with  outbreaks  of  epidemics,  but COVID-19 was something new and on  a  completely different level, and it presented us with enormous challenges. 
From the outset, it was clear that we had to create isolation wards to prevent those infected from spreading the virus and to provide the medical teams with maximum protection while treating the sick. We were facing something new, and we had to train the medical staff on how to treat the COVID patients in the best way possible. 
The medical teams were working under extreme pressure both physically and emotionally. 
They  worked  long  hours  together under strained working conditions, coupled with the emotional stress of dealing with a highly infectious lethal disease.”
Yaron Mushkat MD: CEO Meir Medical Center (Courtesy Meir Medical Center)Yaron Mushkat MD: CEO Meir Medical Center (Courtesy Meir Medical Center)
History  has  proven  that  wars  promote  new  technological developments. Does that hold true for pandemics as well?

Absolutely. The pandemic brought about  the  development  of  new technologies to treat the coronavirus. The vaccines are one of the examples of the biotechnological developments, but  there  were  other  innovations that  can  be  described  as  hi-tech developments.For  example,  a  remote  control monitoring room that monitored the health of each corona patient, thereby minimizing the risk to the medical staff.
 A new mask was also developed that is constantly ventilated by clean air, which minimizes the chances of infection for the medical staff. I also want to point out that Meir tried out new treatments, and we have our own R&D activities.
New  medical  technologies are very costly. If you want to acquire an expensive new medical device, do you require the authorization of Clalit?
We are proud to be a part of the Clalit Health Services, the largest medical organization in the country. It assesses the medical efficiency of new medical devices and the cost effectiveness of the medical equipment we need and they finance our purchases. 
We are also greatly helped by the generosity of our donors. These funds are also used to purchase new cutting-edge medical devices.
The Meir Medical Center is well known for the way it treats Israel’s Olympic  athletes.  Is  it  different  from  the  way  you  treat  other  patients?
The Meir Medical  Center has become a byword in all aspects of Sports Medicine. 
Our medical center prides itself on the medical treatment it  provides  for  Olympic  athletes. The treatment is the same for all our patients, but we are aware that in sports, especially Olympic sports, the treatment must be as rapid as possible because athletes cannot afford to miss their training sessions. That is why we make it a point complete the treatment as soon as possible.We  have  been  treating  Israel’s Olympic  athletes  for  the  past  20 years.  
We  are  very  proud  of  the comprehensive  medical  treatment we  give  them.  We  monitor  their development and accompany them on tournaments in Israel and abroad and thus included Olympic tournaments.
Does  Meir  specialize  in  any  particular medical branch?
Yes, many.  For  example,  we specialize  in  pulmonary  ailments, in minimally invasive lung surgery, and  lung  oncology  treatment.  We also  offer  state-of-the-art  cardiac treatment. And we have a very well-developed multi disciplinary trauma department which offers treatment for patients who have experienced gunshot wounds, traffic accidents, and the like.We are one of the leading hospitals specializing in obstetrics and pediatric medicine. 
Our delivery rooms and pediatric department offer the most up to date professional holistic treatment available the world over.Our pediatric treatment is excellent and every year we get the highest grading of the Israeli ministry of health for the treatment of children. Our pediatric wards supply health needs of children over a wide geographical area.The Meir Medical Center is at the forefront of medical developments and is one of the leading medical centers in Israel.
Year after year we get top marks from the Ministry of Health for the quality of our medical teams and the quality of our treatment.I  am  rightfully  proud  for  the privilege that was given me to manage a medical center where the all the staff medical and other consider it their home and do all in their power make it the best medical center.
This article was written in cooperation with Meir Medical Center.