During Monday’s meeting of the State Control Committee, it was reported that only 20 beds were added to treat COVID -19 patients in hospitals since the coronavirus pandemic began. From January until July 2020, the number of hospital beds only increased from 16,301 to 16,321.

Shaare Zedek Medical Center CEO Prof. Ofer Merin told the committee that the internal medicine wards are overcrowded and short on staff.

“We canceled operations and sent patients​ home yesterday because the ICU was full and that is shameful. Wards are completely full, and we were forced to divert medical teams from the internal medicine departments to the coronavirus wards,” Merin said.

Committee Chairman MK Ofer Shelah said it was clear that the Health Ministry had neglected to staff coronavirus wards in the past five months. “Now they are improvising,” MK Shelah said and warned that without proper planning of staffing and beds, decisions about closures, in order to protect hospitals from being overrun, cannot be made.