With the flu taking its toll among the population, Israeli hospitals were overflowing on Tuesday, with more than 100% occupancy: In Haifa, the emergency room of the Rambam Medical Center had twice the maximum number of patients. And in Beersheba, the Soroka Medical Center also reported an influx of patients, with a 120% occupancy rate in the wards.
The waiting time at both hospitals was longer than usual, Israel Radio reported.
Doctors and nurses around the country were being asked to work extra hours in an attempt to provide proper medical care to those in need.
The number of people seeking medical care at Soroka has been on the rise for days, Dr. Nimrod Maimon, the deputy manager of the hospital, told Ynet. “That means there is no more room to hospitalize patients,” he said, noting that people were receiving ongoing care in the emergency room, which wasn’t “designed to provide” such treatment.
Rambam’s head nurse, Mira Shiloah, said management was trying to alleviate the pressure by hiring people for extra hours, with nurses working six weekly shifts instead of the standard four.