Knesset hears of acute shortage of beds at rehab facilities amid war

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

The Knesset’s Health Committee holds a discussion today on Israel’s preparedness to provide rehabilitation for those wounded in the war.

The country’s healthcare system is significantly short on rehabilitation beds in hospitals and other rehab facilities, especially in the north of the country and in Jerusalem.

More than 4,500 Israelis have been injured since the war began on October 7 following Hamas’s savage attack on southern Israeli communities resulting in the murder of 1,400 people and the taking of more than 220 hostages.

The ministry estimated that at least 500 of the injured will require rehabilitation lasting months to years.

Tens of people are amputees, and there are many cases of people with multiple physical injuries combined with PTSD.

At this time, there are only 115 open rehabilitation beds in the country, as compared to 930 available before the war.

Prof. Yoram Weiss, director general of Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, says that his hospital’s new 150-bed rehabilitation center at its Mt. Scopus campus is scheduled to open in two months.

However, the hospital is waiting for funds that were promised by the Health Ministry to medical institutions that boost their rehabilitation capacity by the end of 2024.

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