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Hospital infusion plan welcomed, but some ask where more doctors will come from

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Healthcare professionals welcomed Wednesday a plan to boost investment and staffing in Israel’s hospitals in order to manage the pandemic, but expressed skepticism over how realistic the scheme is.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced an investment of NIS 2.5 billion ($773 million) in health infrastructure in order to fight back against the ultra-contagious Delta coronavirus variant.

He said the government will recruit 2,000 more doctors, nurses, hospital staff and paramedics in order to “prepare for a significant increase in hospitalized COVID patients.” The new hires, which are set to be permanent, will help Israel “buy time until the vaccination system will begin to lower the outbreak.”

This was a reference to vaccine booster shots, which are being given to immunocompromised Israelis and those aged 60-plus, and are being consider for younger citizens.

Implementing the plan is a race against time, with health officials predicting that Israel could see hospitals overrun with 4,800 coronavirus patients, half of whom would be suffering from serious bouts of COVID-19, within a month. But senior doctors have been left asking where the doctors and other health workers will come from.

“This is a very important step, but I don’t think we can immediately recruit the staff,” Prof. Ehud Grossman, head of........

© The Times of Israel

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