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The inauguration of the shielded structure of the Geriatric Department at Barzilai Medical Center

The inauguration of the shielded structure of the Geriatric Department at Barzilai Medical Center
The shielded structure of the Geriatric Department, which offers protection against threats of missile attacks and chemical and biological weapons, was inaugurated.
The shielded structure of the Geriatric Department at Barzilai Medical Center was inaugurated   with the presence of Dr. Lea Nass, Deputy Minister of Pensioner Affairs, Dr. Shimon Scharf, CEO and Medical Director of Barzilai Medical Center, Dr. Zehava Glick, Head of the Geriatric Department, distinguished guests and the medical center employees.
The project was initiated in order to offer protection during emergencies to patients with special needs of the Geriatric Department, since during such emergencies most of them have difficulties in reaching shelters and cellars, which are inaccessible and without adequate equipment. The structure was constructed so it can absorb rockets salvo such as "Qassam" from Gaza and is also resistant to "Grad" rockets attacks. The structure includes an air filtration system, which allows operating even under the threat of injuries from chemical and biological weapons. 
The shielded structure of the Geriatric Department was built by the Ministry of Pensioner Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. The cost of the project, including equipment was 4.4 million IS. The building area is 400 square meters (about 4000 square feet), and it is intended for 30 hospital beds of geriatric patients. In addition to patients rooms the building includes service rooms for employees, which will allow continuation of therapy and treatment even when rockets fall nearby. The Ministry of Pensioner Affairs reported that "this is the first Israeli shielded geriatric department that was designed and built in an open space and not underground".
Deputy Minister of Pensioner Affairs Dr. Lea Nass said during the ceremony:"Pensioner Affairs Ministry set a goal to improve the status of elderly people in the Israeli society. Therefore we consider all aspects of elderly people lives, including concerning during the course of emergencies. By assisting in the construction of shielded area for the Geriatric Department we aimed in preventing the repetition of images from the 2nd Lebanon War and 'Cast Lead' operation, in which elderly people needed to be evacuated from hospital rooms to underground basements. There is a long road to walk, but as far as we see it this is the right direction".
Dr. Zehava Glick, Head of the Geriatric Department at Barzilai Medical Center:"as it is well known, the elderly population is the weakest population and requires supporting environment. It is a sort of population that requires different standards. It is difficult to maintain elderly people in a closed room which is considered a protected space. And despite all the harsh physical conditions of the place, the tension in which patients, families and staff had to function when Qassam and Grad rockets are exploding nearby; despite these difficult conditions the medical and non-medical staff of the geriatric department functioned remarkably and has my full appreciation and admiration. Due to the heightened awareness of Dr. Shimon Scharf, Medical Director of BMC, to the issues of geriatrics, and his many efforts to achieve enduring constant investment budgeting, the building of shielded space for the Geriatric Department became possible and we are pleased to inaugurate it today. And for this I thank Dr. Scharf".          




The audience during the ceremony


Dr. Lea Nass, Dr. Zehava Glick and Dr. Scharf cutting inauguration ribbon


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