Israel will allocate an additional NIS 200 million ($52 m.) for the immediate reinforcement of the security infrastructure of hospitals across the country, the Finance and Health ministries announced Monday morning.
The decision was reached after an agreement between Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Health Minister Uriel Busso.
The ministries transferred NIS 75 million for this purpose earlier during Operation Swords of Iron.
70% of the hospital beds in Israel will be protected with new budget
The money will make possible the addition of more than 3,000 beds in protected spaces in a variety of hospital departments, including underground operating rooms at Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba and a protected intensive care unit at Ziv Medical Center in Safed.
The Health Ministry maintained that since the war broke out, it has been investing “significant sums for the protection and emergency preparedness of the hospitals” that will enable them to function now, and that it will continue allocating funds for this purpose in the years to come.
According to its recently presented plan, about 70% of the hospital beds in Israel will be protected, as well as all the beds in the blood banks and dialysis centers. The cost of the program is expected to reach about NIS 4.5 billion (1.17 b.).
Health Minister Uriel Bosso said that while visiting hospitals around the country, he saw that there was an immediate need to expand protection in all hospitals. “In these days of escalated war and attacks in the North, we are obligated to provide maximum security to patients, staff and visitors.”