The Rambam Hospital in Haifa is currently hosting 27 doctors and nurses from 17 countries for a unique simulation.
The staged Mass Casualty Event, which began on November 6 and runs until November 19, includes participants from Albania, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Burma, Georgia, India, Vietnam, Jordan, Nepal, Kenya, Nigeria, Chile, Peru, Kosovo, Thailand, Ghana and New Zealand. Even Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in world which has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel, has sent five representatives.
The simulation is part of the eighth course of its kind and is entitled the “Eighth Seminar on Developing and Organizing a Trauma System and Mass Casualty Event (MCE) Organization.” The course is jointly sponsored by Rambam, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health. It aims to teach participants to develop systems for medical operations in emergency, trauma and MCE situations suited to their countries.
The course is being held at Rambam as the Haifa hospital, the largest hospital in northern Israel, has the dubious distinction of being an expert in trauma, emergency and mass casualty situations. For years, the hospital has received soldiers injured on Israel’s northern border and beyond, as well as civilians caught in home front wars and terrorist attacks in northern Israel.
Rambam also houses the only trauma system in the region. Severe trauma patients from nine general hospitals feed into Rambam, making it the busiest center for trauma in Israel. The hospital’s Teaching Center for Trauma, Emergency and Mass Casualty Situations [MCS] leads instruction in this field nationwide, and regularly holds international seminars for physicians and nurses from throughout the world. In addition, the center sends representatives to different countries to teach courses and holds workshops for NATO personnel.
“In the course, we learn how to build a system for operating in emergency, trauma and MCE,” said Prof. Andi Asadul Islam, a Neurology expert from Hassan Udim University in Makassar, East Indonesia. “We did not come to seek medical information, but guidance on how to get organized in case of these situations. Rambam’s system for trauma is the best there is, and we can learn a lot from it.”
The course involves theoretical lectures as well as tours in Rambam and different Israeli hospitals. The program allows participants to receive a wide view of activities of the various emergency medicine units. Additionally, they visit IDF simulation centers and Magen David Adom headquarters.
Participants also visit a number of tourist sites, among them Yad Vashem, and other sites in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Yafo, Akko, Zichron Yaakov and others
“As a Muslim, it was especially interesting for me to see the Muslim quarter in Jerusalem,” said Prof. Islam.
Asti Puspita Rini, who manages the 118 Emergency Ambulance Service Foundation in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, said, “Some of my friends and family were afraid and didn’t want me to come here because of what they see on television but it’s totally different than what the media shows.”
At the end of the course, a special ceremony will be held on November 17 in which participants will receive diplomas and medals in the presence of ambassadors and representatives of different countries and of Rambam, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health.