Taking care of your health even during the coronavirus crisis

Maccabi Healthcare Services continues to lead and provide its members with advanced and high-quality medicine even in the coronavirus crisis.

Gidi Leshetz (photo credit: YANIV SHMIDT)
Gidi Leshetz
(photo credit: YANIV SHMIDT)
Over 4,500 physicians are providing telephone and frontline services to HMO members, a breakthrough initiative for physiotherapy, occupational therapy and child development services, community coronavirus testing labs and a unique inpatient home care solution for coronavirus patients, using advanced digital means and artificial intelligence as a decision-support tool for patient and physician, along with medical centers nationwide, which are open and active for members these days as well.
The State of Israel, and in fact the entire world, is in the midst of a difficult period. In these challenging days, when all medical teams are working around the clock and making great efforts to eradicate the coronavirus, we met with Gidi Leshetz, head of Maccabi Healthcare Services’ Jerusalem and Shefela division, who is working day and night to provide the best service to Maccabi members.
"Maccabi continues to be a leader in providing professional and quality service to its members and we are ready to provide a comprehensive treatment framework even in the event of an emergency," explains Leshetz. "Our challenge is to address all the health issues that are coming to our door while protecting the public’s health and medical staff while also taking active action to prevent the spread of the virus."

Enlisting to stop the pandemic
"Maccabi was the first to open dozens of laboratories to conduct coronavirus testing in this community as part of the national coronavirus mitigation effort," adds Leshetz. "In our district, more than 10 labs will open in different cities.
"As part of the initiative, Maccabi will be responsible alike for taking the samples and examining the results. Patients will be referred by family physicians, and children on the basis of defined criteria, and they will come and be tested with advanced notice. The answers will be received directly into Maccabi's medical records, as it is done routinely, efficiently and quickly. This is a very important step in taking responsibility for our members' health."
He said Maccabi is also a leader in the area of home hospitalization - this is the first of its kind in which Maccabi patients who are defined by the Health Ministry as mildly ill, will be able to remain in home isolation with close medical monitoring and supervision and will not have to go to the hospital. “The personal care is tailored to each patient, with sensitivity, professionalism and of course is done at eye level, and each referral is specifically addressed by the doctors and nurses of the HMO.”
It should be noted that Maccabi has promoted all hospitalization and home-care issues in recent years for the health and well-being of patients and their family and to lessen hospital overloading, which has proved critical these days.

Advanced medicine by remote control
"Events such as the one we are currently experiencing cause us all to be shaken, but we at Maccabi are trying to leverage reality and produce positive aspects of it as well, with regard to the use of advanced medical systems, which we have used even before the coronavirus days," says Leshetz.
"For example, on days when the recommendation is not to go to clinics to maintain the health of friends and medical staff, Maccabi members can schedule a telephone call and receive professional and quality medical service from over 4,500 physicians. Members can also contact doctors through new artificial intelligence technologies as well as using advanced applications such as the K app and a doctors chat.
Leshetz also shares an innovative and breakthrough service, which he initiated and led as part of being a physical therapist. "The groundbreaking service we offer our members, Maccabi Back, is a new and first-of-its-kind call center designed to diagnose and treat patients who are in isolation and suffer from back pain. As part of the service, they can talk to qualified physiotherapists and get them quick guidance tailored to their medical condition and 24-hour treatment for their back pain.
“This is a service that began to operate even before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis and has been successful with many patients. This service has a more significant meaning these days when it is impossible to leave home. "

Care for at-risk populations
"In the Jerusalem district, which is the largest district in Maccabi with about 600,000 members, there are about 10,000 older members as well as a population that is now at-risk," he emphasizes. "Especially for them, we launched the ‘Golden Path’ - an important program aimed at providing medical services to the elderly population during a lockdown. This important program carries the banner of Maccabi values - human dignity, partnership and excellence.
“Maccabi's social workers and multidisciplinary staff are currently operating a support system and conducting phone calls to our members who are part of the at-risk population to see what their medical, personal and family status is.
“I would like to commend and express my admiration to all of our teams - the medical, paramedical, logistics, administration and cleaning teams, who are on the frontlines, literally and figuratively, working around the clock and demonstrating dedication, commitment and professionalism and giving all members the best care. Our recommendation is to obey the Health Ministry's guidelines in order to protect yourself and your family. To conclude, I wish you and the whole of Israel a kosher and happy Passover holiday. T together we will beat the coronavirus, and stay healthy.”