A ceremony marking the opening of IDF-run COVID-19 Departments in the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital was held yesterday at Rambam Health Care Campus. This is the first time that the military is cooperating with an Israeli hospital as well as its first time treating civilians.
Following comprehensive preparations, the IDF’s COVID-19 departments were opened yesterday as part of “Operation Brotherhood.” The military departments join the COVID-19 A-D Departments already in operation in the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital at Rambam Health Care Campus.
The IDF’s COVID-19 departments will be operated by approximately 100 members of military medical teams, which includes doctors, nurses, medics, and other medical staff from the IDF Medical Corps.
During the past week, these military medical teams underwent professional, comprehensive training provided by Rambam staff members, adapted to the guidelines established by the Ministry of Health. Training included theoretical and practical content to prepare the teams for treating COVID 19 patients in the most professional and humane manner.
The opening ceremony for these departments took place at Rambam, led by Israel’s Minister of Defense, Mr. Benny Gantz, Minister of Health, Mr. Yuli Edelstein; Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Eyal Zamir; Chief Medical Officer, Brigadier General Professor Elon Glassberg; Ministry of Health Director General, Professor Hezi Levi; and Rambam's General Director, Dr. Michael Halberthal. The ceremony was broadcast live on IDF platforms.
The IDF and the Medical Corps are part of the national public healthcare system, and will aid it as needed. The IDF Spokesperson’s Office stated that, "The IDF considers this mission to be of paramount importance, and with the help of carefully selected medical staff, they were prepared for this operation with extraordinary speed. In close cooperation with Rambam, the best medical care will be provided for the citizens of the State of Israel."
According to Dr. Halberthal, the combination of Rambam staff and IDF forces is for the benefit of Northern Israel’s COVID-19 patients. "Over the years, Rambam and the IDF have worked closely to promote and manage various issues and scenarios related to public health, and to deal with complex situations. It is our commitment to give our patients the best possible care."
See this Times of Israel article for more information.
Benny Gantz, Israel’s Minister of Defense, addresses the ceremony.
Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister of Health, speaks with Dr. Michael Halberthal.
Touring Rambam’s underground COVID-19 facility.
Benny Gantz speaks with a patient in the underground COVID-19 facility.
Photography by Rambam Health Care Campus.