Israel's Health Ministry Panel to Review Hospital Internal Medicine Wards

About 20 percent of patients in internal medicine departments do not need to be in these wards, and remain there only for lack of space in rehabilitation hospitals and departments

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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An overcrowded ward at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer, February 2019.
An overcrowded ward at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer, February 2019.
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

The Health Ministry said Monday it will appoint a committee to study and make recommendations for improving patient care in the internal medicine departments of the country’s hospitals.

The panel will address the utilization of personnel, the inclusion of specialists and residents on a regular basis, establishing incentive mechanisms for choosing the doctors’ professional track and examining rehabilitation facilities and other institutions to which patients are admitted after discharge. The conclusions should be published by April 15.

The committee will be headed by Prof. Ran Tur-Kaspa. Its 15 members will include senior physicians and Health Ministry representatives. The impetus for the committee was recent news reports on severe patient overcrowding in inpatient departments.

As Haaretz has reported, about 20 percent of patients in internal medicine departments do not need to be in these wards, and remain there only for lack of space in rehabilitation hospitals and departments. The committee will also examine the cost of a day of hospitalization in a ward.

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said he was aware of the problem. “We know the present trends, of an aging population and an increase in chronic illnesses, will grow in the coming years. That’s why we must cooperate to ensure that the system continues to provide outstanding treatment.”

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