Israel’s Minister of Health on a First Visit to the COVID-19 Departments at Shamir Medical Center

Israel’s new Health Minister, Mr. Yuli Edelstein, has visited numerous hospitals across the country since his appointment in May. His attention during these visits has been focused primarily on the COVID-19 departments, all of which he watched through the control room.

Up till his visit to Shamir Medical Center; here, he has chosen to physically enter a COVID-19 ward for the first time. Dressed in the appropriate protective gear, he stepped into one of our dedicated departments, to observe the medical team’s work and learn about the patient experience directly.

Accompanied on his visit by Shamir Medical Center’s Director General, Dr. Osnat Levtzion-Korach, Mr. Edelstein donned the personal protective equipment required by anyone entering the COVID-19 departments: Protective overalls, an N95 mask, shoe covers, a clear plastic face shield, head cover, and gloves. The Minister also wore a nametag with his photo, the accepted practice among the department medical staff, which enables patients to identify the people underneath behind the protective layers who are caring for them.

He later wrote a post on his Facebook account, saying: “‘Angels in white:’ None are more dedicated than Israel’s medical teams. Today, for the first time, I entered a COVID-19 department at Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh), with the safety, of course, of the best protective equipment. Not a simple experience, with terrible heat and humidity inside the coveralls. For me, it was one experience for one hour of one day. Think about the dedicated 24/7 care provided by all the doctors, nurses, and teams at the COVID-19 departments.

“I talked to the patients, who were full of praise for the amazing staff. But they conveyed another message, of no less importance: the coronavirus is no ‘flu with PR.’ The heinous virus does not distinguish between religions, races, and genders. I pass their request on to you: Take care of yourselves! Take care of your father, your mother, grandfather, and grandmother! Follow the instructions – they were truly written in blood.”

The minister also thanked the Medical Center’s director for the fascinating and instructive visit.

Photo Credit: Itzik Biran

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