Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem on Thursday night confirmed reports that former prime minister Ariel Sharon will be transferred to Sheba Medical Center, the Tel Hashomer hospital, early next week. The spokeswomen of both Hadassah, where Sharon has been treated since January 4, and Sheba had previously refused to say officially if Sharon, still in a deep coma, would be moved to Sheba. The transfer is expected to be a high-security logistical operation. Before the rumors of the transfer were confirmed, Dr. Arie Wollner, head of Sheba's 18-bed, state-of-the-art respiratory care and rehabilitation department, was permitted to describe the "unique facilities" that it offers. "We are a national center, and we are always full," he says. "It is a hospital within a hospital, with interdisciplinary care by specialists in intensive care, internal medicine, lung disease and other fields plus physiotherapists and other professionals. Our patients are stable and no longer under the imminent threat of death, but they still need life support measures, including weaning from ventilation." Some of the patients are in a coma and connected to ventilators, like Sharon, while most of the others are conscious but still dependent on their respirators for breathing. Such patients remain in the department for several months and then either go home or to long-term nursing facilities. "Our results meet international standards," says Wollner. "We can wean 80 percent of our patients from mechanical ventilation, while 10% need them only at night and the rest cannot be disconnected." Treatment is paid for by the health funds. In Sharon's case, a special Treasury allocation was made for the former prime minister, who is entitled to benefits after leaving office.