ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Ministries agree on immediate NIS 275 million to fortify hospitals

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

The Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa was prepared for receiving patients following the outbreak of war, October 11, 2023. (Courtesy of Rambam)
The Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa was prepared for receiving patients following the outbreak of war, October 11, 2023. (Courtesy of Rambam)

The Health Ministry announces that it has budgeted an additional NIS 200 million ($51.8 million) for the fortification of hospitals against missile and other attacks. This sum will augment the NIS 75 million ($19.5 million) already transferred for this purpose since the outbreak of the war on October 7.

The announcement of the additional funds comes following an agreement made between Health Minister Uriel Busso and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

It became sharply clear during fighting in the last 38 days against Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah along the northern border that not enough of Israel’s health facilities are properly protected.

More than half the operating rooms in Israeli hospitals are not fortified against missile attacks, according to a report by the Kan national broadcaster.

As a result, nearly all medical staff must exit unfortified operating rooms and go to safe areas when rocket sirens sound — except during critical lifesaving surgeries.

In addition, only 30-40 percent of hospital beds in Israel are in protected spaces.

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