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Director of Hadassah Hospital: Israel Medical System is “Where Coexistence Works”

The British-born director of Hadassah Mount Scopus, Dr. Tamar Elram, said the hospital is the embodiment of the culture of coexistence that lies at the heart of Israeli society, Jewish News reported on Friday.

The obstetrics and gynecology specialist noted: “What’s unique about Hadassah and the Israeli healthcare system in general is it’s where co-existence works.”

Elram explained that at the hospital not only patients come from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, but “also the staff. For example, we sent out Christmas cards to all our Christian staff, just as we would send greetings to our Jewish and Muslim staff on their holidays.”

The same was true with the patients, she added. “People come to Hadassah Mount Scopus because of its location in the northeast of the city.

“This covers the different groups in Jerusalem; the secular, the Charedim, the Palestinians. Everyone is together, in the wards, in the corridors. They don’t talk about politics, they drink coffee.

“This is what Hadassah has been doing for the past 100 years and it’s still there.”

In March 2018, doctors at both Israeli and Palestinian-operated hospitals joined forces to save the life of a Filipino baby boy.

On February 14, Francis Joseph was born at the Red Crescent Hospital in East Jerusalem with a rare and serious heart defect, which required a complicated and risky open-heart surgery. The so-called “Jatene procedure,” which the Palestinian-operated hospital did not have the necessary facilities to perform, was however possible in Hadassah.

The baby was eventually moved to Hadassah for open-heart surgery. The successful surgery took a little over five hours, according to the hospital, and Francis Joseph was “in good condition, active and smiley,” when he returned for a check-up weeks later.

The director of Hadassah last month participated in the Limmud Festival as a coach on Jewish values and healthcare and recalled speaking on a panel where “we discussed whether, if co-existence works in healthcare, it can work elsewhere.” Elram added that Hadassah, like Israel, “has to keep on being the best, in technology, in science, in medicine and, unfortunately, in security, too.”

The director concluded with a message to Jews in the West. “Zionism is not a dead word. People are sometimes afraid of using a word that was once considered our dream. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge it, “Elram said. “In my eyes, Israel is our dream comes true and is still being realised now.”