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      Jerusalem Terror Attack Shows How Crucial Each Hospital Is

      With 1 dead and 2 critically hurt, Jerusalem terror attack highlights capital's hospitals, including the nearly shut-down Bikur Cholim.
      By Elad Benari and Hezki Ezra
      First Publish: 3/24/2011, 5:19 AM / Last Update: 3/24/2011, 8:19 AM

      Wednesday’s terror attack in Jerusalem, in which over 50 people were wounded, reminded all of the importance of the proper functioning of all the capital city’s hospitals.

      One of these hospitals is Bikur Cholim, which was under threat of closure just over two months ago due to financial problems.

      “We’re certainly prepared to take care of the injured people,” said Bikur Cholim’s medical director, Dr. Raphael Polack. “It’s important to remember that over what we refer to as the Oslo War, which started in the year 2000 with multiple terrorist attacks [in Jerusalem], the vast majority of which occurred only 500 meters from where we’re standing here today, there were thousands of people taken care of in this emergency room.”

      Dr. Polack said that after Wednesday’s attack, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman came to the hospital to visit those who were wounded as well as to express his continued support for the hospital.

      “The Minister was here to stress that he considers even the thought of closing Bikur Cholim in the setting of Israel’s current shortage of hospital beds as absolutely preposterous, and that he’s vociferously against this, as is the Prime Minister,” said Dr. Polack. “He promised me once again that he will not allow the budget division of the Ministry of Finance to push for a closure of this hospital.”

      Dr. Polack thanked Litzman for his visit. “We’re very thankful for his continuing efforts. Really, he’s the only one who is standing firm to keep the hospital going, and we’re sure that he’s going to be successful.”