The Lavi organization published a shocking report on the number of patients from the Palestinian Authority which doubled over the past five years, reaching 75,291 hospitalization days in oncology departments alone. These departments are always short on beds and now we know why. The report states that PA patients in some of the oncology departments outnumber medical tourism patients 3 to 1 and Israeli patients 2 to 1.
The Lavi report cites the State Comptroller’s 2015 Report, which reviewed who got advanced imaging tests in Israel. Foreign patients and PA Arabs had far more access to CT, MRI, and PETCT and shorter waiting times than Israeli patients did. In the Hematology/Oncology department at the Safra Children’s Hospital in Sheba Medical center, near Tel Aviv, there is a tremendous lack of children’s beds and at least half of the hospitalized patients are not Israelis, sometimes as many as 75% aren’t Israelis.
Doctors told parents that complained to the hospital director “If you do not like it, take your child and move to another hospital”, according to parents complaints in the report. One Sheba parent said: “Last week, a doctor was crying because she had to vacate a child from his bed and send him home; she needed the bed even though the child needed to stay. When asked why she was doing this, the doctor started crying and kept the child instead of sending him home.”
The Lavi report also cites a study showing that Israeli doctors prefer to keep PA Arab children in Israeli hospitals for very long periods of time, for fear that they may not return for follow-up treatments. This makes it that Palestinian Authority patients will stay in the wards for many months, or even a whole year not actually receiving ongoing treatment but occupying a bed. This investigation of unnecessary hospitalization for PA patients also included the aforementioned Sheba Hospital.