Hospital to get $4m. facelift

Eilat's Yoseftal hospital is to undergo a $4 million renovation in a project being jointly funded by the Jewish Federation of Toronto, the Clalit Health Fund and the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galil, reports A delegation from the Jewish Federation of Toronto visited the hospital recently and approved the funding, emphasizing the "strategic importance" of the hospital and saying that it is the only one that services residents and tourists in Eilat and surrounding areas, as well as soldiers serving on bases in the Arava and Eilat areas. According to the report, the federation has approved the transfer of $1 million raised from the Canadian Jewish community as part of its spending plans for 2009, a move which prompted Clalit to commit itself to add a further $2 million. In addition, Negev and Galil Development Minister Yaakov Edri approved the addition of a further $1 million to the sum. The report said that Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevy and the Toronto Jewish Federation have been pressing the Health Ministry and Clalit for some time to increase government support of the hospital, and in particular to upgrade and expand the physical structure, open outpatient clinics, offer a basket of benefits to medical staff, and hire more specialist doctors. Arrangements are also being made for student doctors to do their medical internships at the hospital, as is routinely done at other hospitals around Israel.