Israeli doctors to government: Integrate different opinions into COVID decision-making

Dozens of Israeli doctors call on gov't to integrate professionals with different opinions into the COVID decision-making echelon.

Tags: Coronavirus
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Coronavirus ward, Ichilov Hospital Tel Aviv
Coronavirus ward, Ichilov Hospital Tel Aviv
Eitan Elhadez / TPS

Dozens of medical professionals from around Israel, many affiliated with top medical institutions in the country, on Sunday addressed a letter to Prime Minister Bennett and Health Minister Horowitz in which they called on the government to integrate medical experts with different opinions into the country’s COVID decision-making echelon.

The letter, obtained by Channel 12, reads, “For almost a year and a half we have been dealing with coronavirus disease in the country, and with all its consequences in all areas of existence.”

“As with any significant challenge, even in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic operative conduct is derived from certain assumptions. These assumptions include, among other things - the need to cut off any type of infection, the need to isolate healthy (‘asymptomatic’) people with any exposure to the virus, and the perception that the benefit of the vaccine outweighs the harm in all age groups.

“These and other assumptions dictate the national response to the virus by the Ministry of Health, the Coronavirus Czar, the Team for the Treatment of Epidemics and a number of 'opinion leaders' (doctors and non-doctors) who have become, even without an official position, effective 'policymakers'.

“It is important for us to tell you that there is a large group of doctors and scientists who are challenging these assumptions, based on an in-depth analysis of the data from Israel and the world, a reading of the cumulative literature, the exchange of information with colleagues, and based on cumulative clinical experience.

“This group includes former department and hospital heads, community and hospital physicians, nurses, and senior scientists from many disciplines in academia,” the letter explains.

“As a result of the different starting assumptions, the different ways of managing proposed by the group members are different in a fundamental way from the dominant way. This is not the place to elaborate, but we will just mention that they include, among other things - concentrating on disease prevention in risk groups, significantly reducing testing of healthy ‘asymptomatic’ people (and implicitly - ceasing the incessant practice of tallying the number of verified cases), changing perception regarding ‘cutting off the chain of infection', ceasing the vaccination coercion by means of a 'green badge' and its derivatives, and renewing examination of the recommendation to vaccinate teens.

“We fear that at this time a faulty conception (not from malicious intent) has taken hold regarding the virus, the disease and the ways of coping with it. The conception has already erred twice - both in its dark predictions about the degree of the virus’ violence, and in its optimistic predictions about the vaccine's ability to provide a comprehensive and sweeping solution to the pandemic.

“When there is concern that a conception will become entrenched - as we learn from history - it is obligatory for those at the helm to look for, hear and test a variety of opinions and perceptions,” the letter continues. “This is in our blood.”

“We call for not harming the blessed routine of life again - and in particular, the education of our children and the economy.

“We call for enabling research and investing resources that will enable the treatment of coronavirus patients in the community, thus preventing hospitalizations, deterioration, and a burden on the health system.

“We also call for changing priorities so that investment in the health system is broad, strategic and multi-dimensional, and not just centered around coronavirus disease.

“We hereby call for allowing representatives of these groups to take part in the decision-making processes at this time.”