News and Events

36 New Beds to Make Rambam ‘s Neurology Section the Largest of Its Kind in Israel

Publication Date: 3/15/2023 11:00 AM
The country wide reality of a shortage in hospital beds is placing enormous pressure on Israel’s public healthcare system. In a dramatic move, Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel, has increased its number of inpatient beds by three-and-a-half percent.
Staff of the Department of Neurology with representatives of the Rambam administration at the opening of the neurological intensive care unit. Photography: Rambam HCC.Staff of the Department of Neurology with representatives of the Rambam administration at the opening of the neurological intensive care unit. Photography: Rambam HCC.

Rambam is the tertiary referral center for 12 regional hospitals. The largest hospital in Northern Israel, it serves over two million residents. It was a moment of great pride and celebration when, despite no governmental budgeting, Rambam was able to add 36 hospital beds. The hospital now boasts a total of 1,019 beds.

Although Rambam has not received an official budget for the new beds, the hospital administration was able to make it possible by diverting resources for this endeavor. Professor Michael Halberthal, director general and CEO explains, “There was a critical need to increase our capacity to treat the growing number of patients; therefore, we decided to divert some of our personnel to support this move. It is complex and not optimal, but it is crucial.”

Neurology is one branch of medicine that has seen increased patient numbers. Rambam’s 23-bed general Department of Neurology offers an array of neurological services. A nine-bed, dedicated neurological intensive care unit was recently inaugurated to support Rambam’s specific needs. The unit, one of the largest of its kind in Israel, will mainly treat patients who have suffered severe strokes. With the additional beds, Rambam has been able to restructure and improve some of its services. Now, a new 22-bed stroke department is expected to open soon, made possible by the newly acquired beds.

Professor Halberthal continues to explain: “In recent years, Neurology has undergone fundamental changes, and various stroke treatments are now available.” Referring to the hospital’s decision to direct additional beds towards this, Halberthal said, “Ultimately, the new section will be a 54-bed facility that will meet ever-increasing demands and simultaneously ease the pressure on institutions where some of these patients could end up.” With this expansion, the section will become the largest of its kind in Israel.

According to Professor David Yarnitsky, director of Rambam’s Department of Neurology, this is a turning point for the residents of Northern Israel: “Stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. The treatment of acute stroke combines dissolving clots using medication, catheterization, and hospitalization in a clinical environment designated for, and specializing in this. Many studies show that the hospitalization of acute stroke patients in a dedicated and professional unit significantly improves the long-term outcome of their illness. In other words, we are talking about saving lives.”

From its humble beginnings in 1938, Rambam, now celebrating its 85th year, is a world leader in healthcare and innovation.