Sirens and lights blazing, an ambulance raced into the underground parking lot of Rambam Medical Center where doctors, nurses and other staffers had already converted a portion of the 2,000-bed below grade fortified hospital for incoming wounded. The live simulation was held last week as part of Rambam 2015 Heath Care Summit that brought supporters from around the world and leading doctors and researchers to the facility to discuss innovations in healthcare.
The Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital, which is converted from the hospital’s parking garage into a 2,000-bed, full-service medical clinic in just 72 hours, is the largest of only three such structures in the world. The underground hospital is segmented for different wards of the hospital, including neurology, surgery, and OBGYN. Furthermore, the garage can also become a sealed bomb shelter against biological and chemical attacks for up to three days.
“This is the most sophisticated underground facility in the world and we take great pride in our responsibility to serve the 2 million people living in Northern Israel, as well as regional IDF troops should a crisis arrive,” said Rambam Medical Center Director General Prof. Rafael Beyar. “We are abreast of the increased threat from Israel’s enemies in the north and unfortunately need to stay fully prepared so that we do everything possible to keep patients of the hospital completely safe.”
A senior Home Front Command source recently stated that in just one northern town, situated near Rambam Hospital’s Haifa base, hundreds of rockets could strike, dozens would hit per day and hundreds of civilians may have to be evacuated. The army source went on to suggest that Hezbollah could fire as many as 1,500 rockets from Lebanon into Israel and that they are working tirelessly to prepare for such a scenario.
The live simulation was part of the annual Rambam Summit, this year themed “From Vision to Reality,” taking place June 7-9 at the hospital’s campus in Haifa and will see leading dignitaries, scientists and philanthropists from around the world attend and learn about Rambam’s vision and the hospital’s continuous advances in modern medicine. Former Israeli President Shimon Peres and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks will receive the 2015 Rambam Award on the morning of June 9 for their lifelong contributions to Israel and the Jewish people. The summit is also celebrating the opening of the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center, Israel’s most modern cancer center, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the gala event on the evening of June 9.