A comprehensive database of thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish physicians and physician assistants who are eager to volunteer in hospitals and other medical organizations has been prepared by Nefesh B’Nefesh in response to Israel’s pressing healthcare challenges during wartime.
The 21-year-old, non-profit organization that has brought some 75,000 immigrants to Israel from the US, and Canada has been collaborating on the project with the Health Ministry, the Immigration and Integration Ministry and The Jewish Agency.
The war against Hamas has heightened the demand for additional medical professionals here, especially in places affected by the conflict with Hamas and Hezbollah in the South and North, respectively. The new initiative serves as an immediate solution for the shortage.
The database includes essential information about the volunteers’ medical specialties, Hebrew-language proficiency, and the documentation necessary to expedite the process of obtaining a temporary Israeli medical license from the Health Ministry. This enables them to begin volunteering in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities around the country as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Each participating physician will generously dedicate an average of two weeks of their time, although some may choose to extend their stay to provide longer-term assistance.
More than 70 doctors have already arrived in Israel to help
“Supporting Israel’s healthcare system and finding an immediate solution for the physician shortage is extremely vital today,” said Tony Gelbart, chairman and co-founder of Nefesh B’Nefesh.
“We are honored to lead this joint initiative, in order to immediately provide Israel with essential care while alleviating the pressure on the nation’s healthcare system in areas where assistance is most urgently needed. In addition, we are exploring ways to help solve Israel’s long-term physician shortage as part of a broader strategic plan,” he said.
Health Minister Uriel Bosso said: “The Israeli healthcare system is one of the best in the world, and its remarkable capabilities were proven as soon as the war broke out. At present, we see great importance in strengthening our medical system with highly skilled, value-oriented, Zionist professionals who seek to tie their fate with that of the State of Israel.
“These doctors are offering to help from a deep sense of national mission and love of the people and the Jewish homeland,” he said. “I thank those who have volunteered to come and help Israel. They embody the expression ‘All of Israel are bound to each other’ in the purest of ways.”
Immigration and Integration Minister MK Ofir Sofer said: “The support, solidarity, and rallying of our Jewish brothers during the war—in the Diaspora in general, and North America in particular—is very heartfelt and strengthens the State of Israel. I want to thank them and salute them for helping our healthcare system by saving the lives of our soldiers as well as the civilians on the home front.”
Jewish Agency chairman Maj.-Gen (ret.) Doron Almog said: “The mobilization of the Jewish communities at this difficult time is particularly moving and strengthens us all. The physicians who have come to volunteer in Israeli healthcare are a tremendous display of strength and resilience.”
Over seventy physicians from various specialties, including emergency and urgent medicine, surgery, anesthesiology, pediatrics, cardiology, orthopedics, and psychiatry have already arrived in Israel, and more are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
These doctors have integrated into hospitals throughout the country, including Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, Barzilai Medical Center, Soroka-University Medical Center, Rabin Medical Center, Hadassah-University Medical Center, Rambam Health Care Campus, Shamir Medical Center, and Galilee Medical Center, as well as the Magen David Adom national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service . There is a particular stress on centers in combat areas such as Sderot and Ashkelon.
This first-of-its-kind program has been made possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Marcus Foundation, which is committed to making a difference in the lives of countless individuals and communities.