Home-based medical care
Home-based medical careIDF spokesperson

As part of the national effort in combating the coronavirus, IDF medics have commenced the “Hand-in-hand” initiative, which involves releasing hospitalized coronavirus patients to home-based care with regular visits from medical personnel.

The initiative is based on doctors and nurses who are currently serving in the IDF, and will be managed by the technological and logistics branch of the IDF, in conjunction with the IDF Medical Corps, the Health Ministry, and the country’s health clinics. Dr. Erez Karp, who established the coronavirus department in Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, will be the senior officer overseeing the project.

Dozens of medical teams have been recruited to take part in this project, with each team comprised of a doctor, a nurse, and a driver. Each patient sent to home care will be visited once a day, and the treatment will be agreed upon between the patient, his family, and the medical team, with additional visits made if necessary.

In addition, a command center staffed by senior military medics and nurses has been established, which will enable remote monitoring of patients in their homes in liaison with the various health clinics.

Around 250 patients are expected to be included in the first stage of the program, which may be expanded at a later date. The program has the dual benefit of easing the load on hospitals, which are perennially overcrowded, and enhancing the capabilities of the local health clinics in providing community-based care.

Two of the first patients are a man in his forties from Ashdod and a woman in her nineties from Tirat Hacarmel, both of whom are being released from hospital-based care.

Prof. Eilon Glazberg, IDF chief medical officer, stated: “The home-based care system that we have established combines the expertise of the IDF – with its organizational skills and a young, technologically knowledgeable staff – with up-to-date planning and logistics support, in order to provide this important service across the country. We in the IDF Medical Corps see ourselves as part of the national health service and take great pride in being part of this project, for as long as there exists a need for it. I hope very much that we will succeed in establishing the groundwork for ‘admitting’ patients to home-based care, and that the system will prove to be both innovative and effective.”