Israel Nursing Home Supervisor Says Names of Virus-hit Facilities Must Be Concealed

'You want solutions to your problems, not media exposure,' he was quoted as telling the chiefs of nursing homes and assisted living facilities

Almog Ben Zikri
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Be'er Sheva's Mishan nursing home which suffered from a major coronavirus outbreak, April 2020.
Be'er Sheva's Mishan nursing home which suffered from a major coronavirus outbreak, April 2020.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Almog Ben Zikri

Ronni Gamzu, the person chosen to handle assisted living homes as Israel tackles the coronavirus, has told the heads of these facilities that he opposes releasing the names of institutions that the coronavirus has struck. So far, 25 such facilities have been hit.

Following complaints about shortages of protective equipment and testing kits at assisted living and nursing homes, Gamzu called on the directors to approach him with their problems, not the media, sources in the health system say.

“You want solutions to your problems, not media exposure,” he reportedly told them.

Gamzu, the CEO of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, in 2017.
Gamzu, the CEO of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, in 2017.Credit: Moti Milrod

Gamzu, the CEO of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital, asked directors to abide by the regulations. “Every detail we miss is critical. Read every word of these guidelines. We have to minimize our mistakes,” he was quoted as saying.

He reportedly said that he had been allotted 2,500 test kits, adding that “one-third of all tests are done at geriatric institutions. Each time there’s an increase in available kits, you’ll get one-third. I’ll fight for that. Priority will go to facilities where there’s already a breakout of the coronavirus.”

Gamzu said that clearer guidelines are being drawn up, starting with the moment an infected person is detected. “This will be regulated so we can act immediately,” he said. “Instructions will change daily based on comments by institution directors.”

The association of nursing homes and assisted living centers said it is clear that Gamzu realizes that the Health Ministry was unprepared for the pandemic.

“We hope his efforts will lead to solutions in staffing, equipment and testing,” the group said.

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