The Barzilai Medical Center- Ashkelon, Israel
The Barzilai Medical Center was established in 1961 in the city of Ashkelon, 35 miles south of Tel-Aviv and only 6 miles, 15 minutes drive, from the border of Gaza district.
Today, the Barzilai Medical Center is a 500 bed general government hospital and a level II trauma center. It is a teaching hospital affiliated to the Faculty of Sciences at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheba, and has its own School of Nursing. Most of the departments are approved for full residency programs.
The Barzilai Medical Center serves over 500,000 inhabitants of the area including a substantial number of new immigrants from the former USSR and Ethiopia who settled in Ashkelon. Apart from Ashkelon, the served population comes from Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, Sderot (the most attacked city by the Palestinians), Netivot, as well as the surrounding villages and Kibbutzim.
Ashkelon expanded during the last 15 years, both in population and constructions, and many national events and festivals are conducted on the great Mediterranean shore of Ashkelon the pier, making the city of Ashkelon a place of pleasure. Despite this development, most of the population is socially low ranked and unemployment is still a major problem.
The proximity to Gaza district turns the Barzilai Medical Center to be the sole front line hospital to absorb all the injured, civilians and military, in any case of major confrontation. During the last six years, thousands of Qassam missiles were launched to Sderot, Ashkelon and the surrounding Kibbutzim resulting in five deaths and more than thousand of patients treated at the Barzilai Medical Center for multiple injuries and acute stress disorders. A similar number of patients was treated in the local psychiatric clinics. Qassam missiles exploded everywhere: houses, schools and factories. Some of the Qassam missiles missed the Barzilai Medical Center and landed few hundred meters outside the fence, but it is only a matter of time till a Qassam missile hits on of the hospital structures.
This situation urges us to be continuously prepared and able to deliver the best medical treatment to all the injured, civilians and soldiers.
It is almost impossible to cope with and fund the necessary medical services alone. The Barzilai Medical Center has the lowest hospital bed rate per 1000 population in Israel and it is constantly occupied over 100%. Our hospital depends almost absolutely on the budget of the Ministry of Health.
The population in the large area of Ashkelon has grown tremendously during the past years adding up to a 40% increase in population, but the hospital has not grown at an equal rate, to say the least. It is important to note that many departments are old fashioned one story structures with roofing tile. Over 100,000 patients are admitted yearly to the 25 year old small emergency department. The hospital services and capabilities remained unchanged despite the growing demands during peace and terror. Competing with other hospitals in the center of Israel to increase our incomes is impossible under these conditions.
The Barzilai Medical Center is planned to grow to 750 beds. We have many projects to develop but we are short of resources.
Donations will be greatly appreciated.
For further information please contact Mrs. Lea Maloul, Spokesman and Public Relationship
By phone : 972-8-6745600 OR
By E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org