Some three weeks after it opened, Israel’s field hospital in western Ukraine is barely treating war refugees and mostly handling general care of locals, according to a new report.
Channel 12 news said that only 16 percent of cases (500 of 3,000) treated at the Kochav Meir hospital in Mostyska, outside Lviv, are those relating to the war. The rest are residents of the area who appear to prefer the free high-level care at the facility to Ukrainian options.
The Health Ministry told the network that the hospital “provides medical care to any patient who requires it, and cooperates with the local healthcare system. The system does not mark patients’ place of origin.”
It said it did thus not have statistics on the number of refugees treated.
The hospital is currently set to remain active until April 30.
The hospital opened on March 22, with the decision to operate in western Ukraine based on safety considerations.
The hospital is intended for civilians, and always expected most of its traffic to be for chronic conditions and pediatric care.
Housed on the grounds of an elementary school in Mostyska, outside Lviv, the NIS 21 million ($6.5 million) facility fills 10 outdoor tents and has also converted multiple classrooms into hospitalization wards.
The project has 100 staff members, 80 of whom are doctors and nurses who flew out to Ukraine earlier this week after a ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport attended by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Lapid.
Many members of the delegation were chosen for their abilities to speak Ukrainian or Russian.
Last week, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz visited the hospital, becoming the first cabinet member to enter the war-torn country since the start of the Russian invasion.
Horowitz thanked medical staff for their “holy work” treating thousands of women and children.
“Israel is the only country that has established such a facility within Ukraine. This is the real face of the Israeli health system,” he said.
He added that his visit sends a message of Israel’s “solidarity with Ukraine in the face of a brutal Russian invasion and in the face of the massacres and war crimes that are being uncovered these days across the country.”