Hadassah Convention Hears of Need for 15 More Hospitals in Israel

Israel’s Deputy Minister of Health, Yitzhak Raphael, said today that the growth of the Israeli population “makes it our duty” to build 15 additional hospitals in Israel, with a total of 6,000 beds, within the next 10 years. He spoke at the 49th national convention of Hadassah, in progress here.

Mr. Raphael said that, of the 15 new hospitals needed in Israel, 10 should be general hospitals and five special hospitals, particularly mental institutions. He estimated that $150,000,000 will be required to establish and equip the new hospitals and to build additional structures for existing hospitals. He reported that new immigration to Israel from underdeveloped countries brings with it many sick persons. He stated, however, that the majority could be cured.

Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, convention chairman, and a former national Hadassah president, said in an address that, while the United Nations is committed to peaceful relations among members, “no one rises to protest–not even our own Government–when the United Arab Republic and other Arab spokesmen threaten belligerent action against Israel.”

“The admonition is often heard not to take verbal threats too seriously,” she said. “Yet, the world knows from bitter experience that words can become deeds if they are unchallenged, that slogans can influence the young who take words as guides to action.”

Dr. Kalman J. Mann, director-general of the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel, revealed to delegates that Israel now had the highest ratio of physicians per population in the world. Israel, he said, has one physician per 400; the United States one per 800; Soviet Union, one per 750, and England, one per 1,000. He reported that, in the last five years, Israel’s population increased 14.8 per cent, while the physician population increased 28.6 per cent. The age distribution of Israeli doctors is changing toward younger men, he said.

Dr. Mann estimated that Hadassah has given medical care to 50 per cent of all the babies born in Israel. He said Hadassah has made a major contribution toward reducing maternal mortality in Israel from 7 to .4 per 1,000 deliveries, and infant mortality from 250 per 1,000 births to 23 per 1,000. These figures cover 1921 to 1963.

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