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WHO rates IDF field hospitals world’s best

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Long recognised worldwide as a leader in field-medicine and disaster relief, the Israeli Defence Forces’ (IDF) field hospital just solidified its position by achieving the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) first-ever Type-3 rating, the highest score the United Nations medical arm can give. “The world should learn from Israel how to operate in disaster areas with the right ethics," said WHO head.
by ANT KATZ | Dec 18, 2016

The IDF field hospital is run by Medical Corps doctors, soldiers, and reservists, and has provided immediate, high quality medical care to thousands of patients in Nepal, Haiti, the Syrian border, the Philippines, and numerous other countries following disasters both natural and man-made.

Only 17 countries globally are recognised by WHO as qualified foreign medical teams that can deploy to other countries and aid in medical disaster relief.

IDF1They were all currently either Type 1 teams, which provide emergency outpatient care, or Type 2 teams, which provide operating rooms, surgical teams, and ICUs.


RIGHT: An IDF field hospital doctor and her patient in Nepal


 

The IDF’s field hospital is the first to be classified as a Type 3 team, which provides in-patient referral surgical care.

The IDF field hospital’s specialised teams – including OB/GYN teams – are also recognised by the WHO. The IDF field hospital began applying for Type 3 recognition in January 2016, and last month one of their field hospitals was visited by a WHO delegation of international experts, who - after overseeing the hospital’s capacities and activities - declared it a Type 3 Foreign Medical Team.

Col. (Res) Ofer Merin, commander of the IDF Medical Corps field hospitals, says that the process of gaining WHO recognition was a valuable experience in and of itself, even for a team with decades of experience in treating patients in disaster areas.

IDF Support“There’s no question that all of us will be able to deploy better to each one of our missions in the future,” says Merin. “It’s not just that we got the stamp that says ‘we’re the best team’,” he added. “We gained a lot from this process, which means our future patients will gain a lot.”

When Israel was given the recognition, the president of the WHO said: “The world should learn from Israel how to operate in disaster areas with the right ethics." For Merin, he says, "it was a great privilege to hear them saying that other countries should learn from Israel how to operate within the right ethical values…

“This is a great pride, a great honour for Israel, the IDF, and the Medical Corps” said Col. Merin.

An IDF field hospital delegation travelled to Hong Kong to be awarded a flag from WHO in recognition of its historic achievement.


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