1 in 10 patients in Israeli hospitals left in hallways, survey finds

1 in 10 patients in Israeli hospitals left in hallways, survey finds

Overall, Israelis satisfied with inpatient medical treatment; separately, open-ended strike declared at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem

Crowded Sourasky Medical Center Ichilov, Tel Aviv. (photo credit: Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)
Crowded Sourasky Medical Center Ichilov, Tel Aviv. (photo credit: Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)

Nearly one in 10 Israelis who receive inpatient hospital treatment are left in hospital hallways during their stay, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Health Ministry.

Nine percent of participants in the survey did not receive a room, with a higher percentage confined to hospital hallways in larger hospitals and internal departments. Patients left in hallways were significantly less satisfied with their treatment than those who stayed in rooms, the survey found.

At Assaf Harofeh Medical Center outside Tel Aviv, 18 percent of patients were left in corridors.

Overall, most respondents were satisfied with their experiences, with larger hospitals and those in the center of the country generally scoring higher. The national satisfaction score was 81%, a slight increase over previous years.

The top-ranked hospitals were Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak, EMMS Nazareth Hospital, Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa and Carmel Medical Center, also in Haifa. The worst hospitals were Assaf Harofeh and Netanya’s Laniado Hospital.

Internal departments received lower scores in most areas, with overall satisfaction at 73%. Surgical departments scored 77%, and other departments were at 83%.

Eighty-five percent of respondents felt they received personal treatment, and 86% said they received a quality explanation when they were discharged summarizing their medical condition and the treatment they received.

Younger patients, men, and those without urgent care needs were more satisfied, while patients with chronic medical conditions reported less satisfaction.

The Health Ministry conducted the survey during the summer of 2018. The 500 participants were hospitalized for at least two nights and were over the age of 18.

Doctors perform surgery at a hospital in Holon. (illustrative photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Illustrative: Doctors perform surgery at a hospital in Israel (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Separately on Tuesday, doctors at both campuses of Hadassah Medical Center, in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus neighborhoods, began a strike to protest the hospital administration’s decision to cancel the employment of medical residents.

The strike began at 6 a.m. and is open-ended. Doctors said they would not perform outpatient treatment or non-urgent surgeries. Those seeking treatment would need to go to the city’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

The hospital’s management had canceled the employment of seven residents who had already been accepted to work at the hospital, Professor Ron Eliashar, chairman of Hadassah’s board of directors, told the Kan news outlet in an interview Tuesday morning.

The administration said it could not afford to employ the residents, but Eliashar said doctors believed the administration was trying to pressure them over previous disputes.

“The cost of employing residents is relatively low. There are seven residents who were supposed to start work on February 1, and they were informed two days before that their employment was canceled,” Eliashar said.

The lack of residents hurts the quality of treatment offered by the hospital, he said.

“Everyone’s reading about the hardship in the internal wards, and who does all the work? Who takes care of them in the emergency rooms? The residents,” he said.

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