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Southern Hospitals Preparing for Expulsion

Medical Centers Soroka in Be'er Sheva and Barzilai in Ashkelon are preparing for the wave of injuries expected from the planned uprooting in Gush Katif two months from now.

First Publish: 6/16/2005, 2:02 PM / Last Update: 6/16/2005, 10:30 AM

"We are working closely with the police, army and Ministry of Health," Soroka spokesperson Irit Bibi told Arutz-7 today, "and they have shared with us their scenarios of what they believe could happen. We are preparing in accordance with the number of injured they are expecting." She refused to say what this number was, however.

The hospitals are preparing to treat people who may be hurt during the uprooting, as well as victims of terrorist attacks during the scheduled withdrawal.

Soroka Medical Center (pictured) replaced its old emergency room with a newer one four years ago, and the old one has since been used as a stockroom. Dismissing reports that this stockroom is now being readied to serve again as an additional emergency room, Ms. Bibi acknowledged that it is "being prepared to absorb additional patients that might be needed as a result of the disengagement."

She said that only ten beds will be placed there at this stage. The hospital currently has 1,200 beds in total.

In both Barzilai and Soroka, all employees have been asked not to take vacation starting from August 15 - the scheduled date of the uprooting - and onwards.

A Barzilai Medical Center spokesperson told Arutz-7 that no beds are being added at this stage to the 478 it currently has. She said, however, that the hospital is "working closely with the police and army" in preparation for what could be a violent and injury-ridden uprooting.

A nurse at Barzilai said that the staff has been informed that the hospital is preparing to accept as many as 100 new patients a day - victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks while the uprooting is underway.