Photo by Gideon Markowicz/TPS on 17 October, 2023

Israeli Evacuees Face Shortages of Medical Care

Public By Pesach Benson • 17 October, 2023

Jerusalem, 17 October, 2023 (TPS) -- Israeli communities that took in evacuees from the Gaza and Lebanon border areas are facing a shortage of doctors, pharmacists and mental health professionals, the Knesset Health Committee was told on Tuesday.

Some half-million Israelis are displaced by the war, with 100,000 staying in 230 hotels and guest houses. Others are staying in various communities around the country.

MK Shelly Tal-Maron (Yesh Atid) told the committee that many evacuees lack simple medicines such as paracetamol, Nurofen and children’s medicines.

One woman who was evacuated from Nahal Oz to Mishmar HaEmek told lawmakers there weren’t enough doctors to in Mishmar HaEmek to deal with the sudden increase in people.

Nachi Katz, CEO of Kedem, which represents nursing homes and assisted living facilities, warned of a shortage of nursing care workers and security guards.

Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Council, stressed the need to treat trauma victims. In some of the Gaza-area communities, one-quarter of the residents were either murdered, kidnapped or cut off from contact. Yarkoni also urged that psychological treatment be prepared for when captives in Gaza return.

Dr. Michael Shapiro, who is in charge of emergency medicine in Ashkelon, pointed to a shortage of pharmacists in the pharmacies in the cities where citizens were evacuated to.

And MK Karine Elharrar discussed the needs of evacuees on the autism spectrum.

The evacuations come on the heels of an Oct. 7 assault by Hamas on communities near the Gaza border that caught Israel off-guard. Fighting raged for days as the security forces initially struggled to clear out the terrorists. More than 1,400 were killed and over 4,100 more injured. At least 199 hostages were taken to Gaza.