The Health Ministry and the management at Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh) have agreed to convert the protected part of the underground parking lot at the entrance to the hospital into a 150-bed emergency care center to treat its coronavirus patients.
Shamir Medical Center is the fourth largest public hospital in Israel, with approximately 400 medical beds.
The cost of converting the underground parking lot for emergency hospitalization is estimated at $26 million and includes, among other things, electrical infrastructure, mobile communication systems, air conditioning systems, adjustments to the hospital's sanitation and water infrastructure, regarding access and ongoing operations in an emergency, and changes to the hospital's accessibility and emergency operations.
The building and planning tenders have already been issued and work of the conversion will commence this week.
Shamir Medical Center Director Dr. Osnat Levzion-Korach stated: "I am glad that the Ministry of Health has found it appropriate to approve and complete the conversion of the lower floor of our parking lot for emergency hospitalization. This is a big relief to the hospital, which serves over one million people. We are at the heart of the fight against the coronavirus and must be prepared for a further increase in morbidity, especially during the coming winter. The addition of 150 beds will allow us to prepare for what is to come."
Work on the conversion of the parking lot is expected to be completed in October.