Israel opens Regional Medical Clinic for the people of Gaza

 Emergency treatment center opens at Erez crossing


Emergency treatment center at Erez crossing (Photo: MFA)

(Communicated by the Ministries of Welfare and Social Services and Health)

On Sunday, 18 January (14:00), a forward emergency treatment center was opened at the Erez crossing into Gaza in the presence of Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog and Minister of Health Yacov Ben Yizri.

The center’s goal is to treat uninvolved civilians from Gaza. The Israel Ministry of Health, through Magen David Adom, will operate the emergency treatment center. This initiative is part of the Israeli government’s humanitarian efforts to assist the civilian population of Gaza, coordinated by Minister Herzog. 

According to understandings reached between the ministers of welfare and health and the International Red Cross, the injured civilians will be brought from Gaza to hospitals in Israel, according to their medical condition. Israeli hospitals have been preparing to accept these new patients.

The treatment center will be fully equipped and staffed by medical personnel, including specialists in the areas of: trauma, orthopedics, pediatric medicine, family medicine, gynecology, etc.

 Emergency treatment center opens at Erez crossing

A first group of Palestinian children suffering from cancer were received at the clinic opened at the Erez crossing as part of Israel’s humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. The children received initial treatment there and were then transferred to hospitals in Israel and abroad according to the serious of their condition – Jan 19, 2009
(Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye)

Magen David Adom sets up clinic for Palestinian civilians from Gaza within 48 hours
(Communicated by the MDA Spokesperson)

The Magen David Adom paramedics had almost finished setting up the new humanitarian medical clinic at the Erez check point, when they were called to treat the first Palestinian patient from Gaza. A 47-year-old Gaza resident, who had entered Israel via the Erez check point, to receive treatment for a neurological problem in a Jerusalem hospital, suddenly collapsed at the security check point. Luckily, when he lost consciousness and stopped breathing, MDA paramedics and medics were already on-scene, working vigorously to keep within the short 48 hour time limit to set up the Humanitarian Medical Clinic for the sick and wounded among the civilian population of Gaza.

Rami Miller, the MDA National Paramedic Supervisor reports: "The patient was lying on the floor at the crossing point area, unconscious and not breathing. We started advanced life saving procedures including ventilation by opening his airway, helping him to breathe and administering medication therapy. After a few minutes we managed to stabilize his heart beat and bring up his blood pressure to normal levels. Later on the patient was transferred via a Mobile Intensive Care Unit to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, in serious but stable condition." There is no doubt that the presence of the paramedics on the scene and the immediate medical response saved the life of the patient.

Some hours later the paramedics were again called, and this time, during the opening ceremony of the Humanitarian Medical Clinic. An old woman, 80 years old, who was on her way to Israel to be with her son is hospitalized in one of the Israeli hospitals, fainted and lost consciousness. The paramedics treated her and transferred her to one of the rooms in the new clinic, where she underwent a series of tests, including an E.C.G., sugar level and blood. She was diagnosed as suffering from cardiac insufficiency. After receiving medical treatment and intravenous fluids, her condition stabilized and she was discharged from the clinic to proceed on her way.

The medical clinic, which was set up on the Israeli side of the Erez check point, was opened today, and will serve the Palestinian population. The clinic is run by Magen David Adom, whose paramedics will be working side by side with volunteer doctors, specializing in family medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, trauma, surgery, orthopedics, and surgery. The clinic has also been equipped with laboratories, X-ray machines and a pharmacy. After diagnosis, it will be possible for patients to be transferred for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals, in accordance with their medical condition. For this purpose, MDA ambulances and MICU’s have been sent to the clinic.

"The indispensability of the clinic has proved itself even before it opened its doors to the Palestinian public, when a man and a sick woman were treated by MDA paramedics. The setting up of the clinic within 48 hours was a professional challenge, complex and complicated, and many logistic factors took part in the operation," said MDA Director General Eli Bin. "From MDA’s point of view, every patient – no matter where he lives or what is his religion – is entitled to receive the best and most professional care. Magen David Adom – as the Israeli Red Cross society – is making every effort to relieve the suffering of the population whether during war, or as a result of natural disasters."