Israeli hospitals reported almost critical occupancy rates Sunday and Monday, with some medical centers accepting more than double the amount of patients recommended according to standard procedures.
Patients in several hospitals reportedly waited for up to 10 hours before they were admitted for treatment.
On Monday morning, the intensive care unit at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem reported occupancy rates of more than 200 percent, while levels at internal medicine departments reached 140% occupancy.
The intensive care unit at Tel Hashomer Hospital also reported an influx of patients, with a 350% occupancy rate. An overflow of patients was reported as well at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, the Ziv Medical Center in Safed and the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.
The high levels of patients at the hospitals, characteristic of the months of January and February, was attributed to large numbers of elderly citizens catching seasonal viruses such as the flu.
Doctors and health officials have, for years, demanded more funding from the government in order to expand emergency rooms and internal departments.
“We’ve been crying out for the entire year,” Ari Shamis, the head of Tel Hashomer, said Monday, according to Ynet. “The overflow is all the time, all year round.”
Shamis added that “due to the overcrowding, there is a fear of infection, and hospitalized patients who are too close to each other may infect one another.”