Shaare Zedek: Cafeteria will be used as coronavirus ward

Pres. Rivlin holds meeting with hospital directors, says their efforts 'teach us many lessons.'

Orly Harari ,

Rivlin with Prof. Rotstein and Merin
Rivlin with Prof. Rotstein and Merin
Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday morning met with the directors of Israeli hospitals, ahead of the Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) holiday.

Present at the President's Residence were Hadassah CEO Professor Ze'ev Rotstein, and Shaare Zedek Medical Center's Director-General Professor Ofer Merin. The directors of Israel's other hospitals attended the meeting via Zoom.

Prof. Rotstein promised Rivlin that those fighting on the front lines - in healthcare clinics and in hospitals - will continue to care for the patients who require treatment, no matter what situation they are in and unconditionally. He proposed calling on all the government officials involved in the budget and the hospitals' funding to immediately end the bureaucracy which stands between the government's decisions and their implementation on the ground. This, he said, has become one of the issues which causes problems in treating patients, in every hospital.

Prof. Merin, who spoke Wednesday morning at a meeting of the Knesset's State Control Committee, said: "Right now, I am in the midst of turning the cafeteria into a coronavirus ward for another 55 people - [but] I can't manage to convince the suppliers to bring me equipment."

Rivlin told the directors: "We know that we have who to rely on in our healthcare system. Your steadfast stance teaches us many lessons about the importance of the public healthcare system and about the importance of the contract between the State and its citizens."

The meeting ended with a toast to the new year and wishes that "the year and its curses end, and a year and its blessings begin."