Knesset calls to upgrade hospital emergency departments

The Knesset State Control Committee, headed by MK Yoel Hasson, called on the Health and Finance ministries on Wednesday to implement a pilot project – dating back to 2000 but never carried out – to bolster the emergency departments in two hospitals via medical specialists and more beds.
The two ministries will have to report back on progress during the Knesset’s upcoming winter session.
The demand was hailed by the Israel Medical Association, which has long been calling to upgrade emergency departments around the country.
The pilot project was intended to give financial incentives tospecialists so such professionals would be on hand around the clock,rather than having to rush in to see patients who would ordinarilytreated by less experienced, recently graduated doctors.
IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman said the pilot had not beenimplemented before because the two ministries had failed to allocatefunds for it. All those who spoke at the session described seriousconditions in the emergency rooms and said that patients died becauseof the lack of facilities and emergency specialists.
The severe problems in emergency rooms were discussed by the statecomptroller in his report on the Health Ministry. The committee notedthat Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman said recently there wouldbe “additional manpower slots and beds” in hospitals, with allocationsexpected to be in the state budget for 2011/2012.
The committee called for updating manpower standards set decades agofor emergency rooms so enough doctors and nurses could be on duty.Hasson said a session would be held soon on violence against doctors.