Why are Israeli women giving birth at Arab hospitals?

Eastern Jerusalem hospital treating growing number of Jewish patients - particularly Israeli women coming to give birth.

David Rosenberg ,

Newborn babies
Newborn babies
Flash 90

A growing number of Israelis from the capital are seeking treatment outside of Jerusalem’s four major Israeli general hospitals, including many patients who have sought treatment in the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

According to a report by Channel 10, the long wait-times and increasingly crowded conditions at many of Israel’s larger hospitals has led some Israeli Jews to seek treatment at medical centers which traditionally served Jerusalem’s Arab population.

In the case of Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Sheikh Jarrah, for instance, the hospital has received a number of Jewish patients recently to its new maternity ward, which opened in 2015.

One of them, a member of the city’s haredi community and immigrant from the UK, Johanna Hazan, explained her decision to give birth at a hospital which has primarily been used by the city’s Arab sector.

“For two years I went through failed attempts at bringing life into the world. At other hospitals in the country, I had bad experiences.”

Three weeks ago, Hazan gave birth to her first child – a son, Gavriel Haim.

Saint Joseph’s, a French-owned Catholic establishment, has admitted other Israeli Jewish women to its maternity ward recently, including one who shared her experience there with Channel 10.

“It didn’t feel unusual. The staff was relaxing and there was a great atmosphere there.”