The unprecedented events of the Israel-Hamas war have put Israeli medical centers in a conflict they never felt in such intensity before: the great challenge of maintaining ongoing medical care while simultaneously managing a multi-casualty case. Recently, Miki Zohar, the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sport, visited the Laniado Hospital in Netanya, Israel to witness for himself the solution Laniado initiated to solve this problem: a new facility in the Laniado compound, set to be entirely dedicated to medical emergencies.
“The 7th of October attack, which, in relation to Israel’s population, compares to 9/11 times 13, has been the deadliest day in the history of Israel,” commented Nadav Chen, Laniado Hospital’s CEO, during the visit. “In a matter of hours, many Israeli hospitals, including Laniado, were flooded with casualties. This event emphasized to us even more how important this to-be emergency building is. The government is helping us with the funding, but it’s not enough. That’s why Lanidao Fund is currently crowdfunding the rest of the capital necessary to make this vision come true in the foreseeable future.”
Hospitals are a target
Having a look at the future emergency building was definitely an important part of Minister Zohar’s visit, but not the only notable event in it. Laniado’s management team escorted the minister through several key points in the hospital, all deeply connected to the horrible situation Israel is going through these days.
It’s no secret that Israel has been facing an increasing hazard of rockets and exploding UASs sent by terrorist organizations From Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and these days, also from Yemen. However, not many know that these offensive actions are mostly intentionally aimed at civil targets, such as residential assets, agricultural areas, and medical centers. Therefore, the management of Laniado Hospital found that in addition to the rocket-safe future emergency building, it must also strengthen existing parts of the hospital.
“We’ve added anti-explosive shelters in many areas of our hospital, but haven’t been able to do so in all the wards quite yet. The current emergency room is safe, and the delivery room also has some safe areas,” said Chen. “We thank the Laniado Fund for helping us acquire the capital needed to make these departments safer for our patients. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done in order to get Laniado Hospital to the point where it can be 100% operative and safe in wartime.”
Minister Zohar and Laniado’s management team (Image by Laniado Hospital)
A visit to one of the massacre’s survivors
One of the most touching moments during Zohar’s tour of the Laniado Hospital was when he visited Noam Ben-David’s room. Noam survived the massacre that took place in the party near kibbutz Re’im on October 7th and was badly injured. Since that horrible Saturday morning, Noam has been hospitalized in the surgical ward of Laniado Hospital, still trying to recover from the massacre, both physically and mentally.
Noam shared with Zohar her horrible memories from that day, and her misery and yearning of losing her boyfriend, who was one of the 347 youngsters who were brutally murdered at the party. Zohar, touched, offered Noam to commemorate her beloved one through art.
Zohar was highly impressed by the visit to Laniado Hospital. According to him, the ongoing work to utilize the new emergency facility and strengthen the existing buildings is highly important. By achieving these goals, Laniado Hospital could lead Israeli medical services in any future, multi-casualty event, god forbid.
Life may be lost at any moment
“Managing daily medical matters is definitely a challenge while also taking care of a multi-casualty case, like what happened on October 7th. Sadly, in Israel, this tends to happen every once in a while. And this means that we need a long-term plan to handle these kinds of events,” said Chen. “After all, every patient expects to be treated with the utmost care and attention, regardless of what happens out there. And that’s only natural.”
The Laniado Fund, an organization dedicated to support and philanthropy to the hospital from all around the world, has definitely done a magnificent job so far, but this may not be enough. There’s still a long way to go till Laniado Hospital will be fully explosive-safe, and will have its to-be emergency building ready to have incoming patients. Hopefully, the Laniado Fund will be able to acquire the required capital for this highly important goal as soon as possible. After all, lives may be lost at any moment. The current reality in Israel made that perfectly clear.