|The new unit is being overseen by a top Sheba Medical Center doctor.|
A top doctor from Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Dr. Gilat Shenhav, has relocated to Herzog Medical Center in Jerusalem to open what is now its third coronavirus ward. The small hospital, which served less than 400 people before the pandemic, now has more than 100 COVID-19 beds.
Shenhav explained that during the first wave, Herzog served mainly light to moderate or rehabilitation patients. However, in August, the hospital opened a coronavirus ward to help support the city’s sick patients, which were overcrowding Hadassah-University and Shaare Zedek medical centers.
The unit opened and welcomed its first 36 patients. In five days, that number reached 50. Today, there are around 100 in all three units and this number could reach up to 120.
Also, its service has expanded to accommodate serious patients from across the country. On Tuesday, it received patients from Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv and Baruch Padeh Medical Center near Tiberias.
“We talk about hospitals breaking down – well, Ichilov [part of Sourasky] is really breaking down,” Shenhav told The Jerusalem Post. “We also got patients from Soroka-University Medical Center and Assuta Ashdod – from all around the country, they are coming to Herzog.
Herzog, which was founded in 1894 as a psychiatric hospital in the Old City, is now located in the capital’s Givat Shaul neighbourhood. It is best known for its treatment of ventilated patients – close to 200 at a time – ranging in age from seniors to children.
Now, however, it is expected that even as the closure begins to work and the number of serious patients goes down, Herzog will continue to serve Israel’s COVID-19 patients.
“The wards did not open to give a solution to Herzog patients with coronavirus,” Shenhav stressed. “This is the solution for all the senior centers in Jerusalem and the coronavirus patients from all around the country.
”She explained that “regular” hospitals need to close their coronavirus wards to make room for general patients, more of which are expected to come to the hospitals in the winter when the flu and other respiratory illnesses strike the country alongside coronavirus. She suggested that when other units start to close “Herzog will be here to the end.
”Shenhav was asked to go and oversee the unit at Herzog because the hospital did not have another capable person on staff. She said she sees her role like one of a reservist in the IDF. She said she expects to be in her new role for at least the next three months.
“It is clear if Israel needs you, you come,” she said.
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