Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Beds Please

According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, aside from Mexico, Israel has the lowest rate of general hospital beds per population in the 28 Western OECD countries, according to a document prepared by the Knesset research and information center

There are only 1.98 hospital beds per 1,000 residents, compared to 8.2 in Japan and 5.7 in Germany, the report states.

Whilst the low number of beds is of concern, I do wonder if the level of preventative medicine here in Israel results in the need for less beds than other countries around the world.

When I talk to friends from overseas about my own personal examples of preventative procedures that I can undergo as part of my national health plan coverage, they are often agog. The highly developed preventative procedures certainly reduce the need for beds, perhaps not as low as we have but not as high as Germany or Japan.

Now, this month comes the news that Bar-Ilan University will be the home of Israel's newest medical school. The Council for Higher Education selected the University to launch the much-needed school, which will be located in the northern Galilee town of Safed.

Bar-Ilan University will establish a leading faculty of medicine integrating cutting-edge research similar to that conducted in the world's top medical schools. The medical school complex will include a state-of-the-art facility which will house 40 medical research teams and absorb returning Israeli scientists.


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Fun Joel said...

I think you may be right about the reasoning, because until the numbers are put there in black and white, you never hear anyone complaining about it. It never seems like there is a shortage of hospital beds here. No one ever complains about that (and you know at least as well as I do that Israelis LOVE to complain).

So while I'm sure that we can improve somewhat, perhaps we just don't need as many hospital beds?