Soroka Medical Center

Soroka Medical Center provides medical services to the entire Negev and has the highest occupancy rate in the country; reaching 170%.It has the busiest emergency room in Israel, treating over 190,000 patients a year, including 33,000 in the pediatric ER.  More than 3,000 trauma patients are admitted to Soroka annually, and the hospital has provided comprehensive care to more than 650 casualties of recent violence.


And yet, despite its achievements and the dedication of its medical and support staff, there exist great unmet needs.  Soroka ’s neonatal and pediatric departments offer family-centered intensive care with world-class survival rates.  Yet the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units are in dire need of renovation and expansion.  Soroka has a leading cancer institute and children’s oncology unit, and treats more than 10%of all new cancer patients in Israel.  Yet the pediatric oncology day-care unit is forced to treat 30 young patients a day in one large room.


Soroka has the busiest maternity ward in Israel, with 13,000 births annually, and maintains Israel’s lowest rate of infant mortality. Yet the physical facilities of the delivery rooms are woefully inadequate.  The Breast Health Center at Soroka develops innovative approaches to diagnosis and treatment with minimally invasive surgery, and has created welcome community demand for screening, diagnosis, and treatment.  The facilities and services offered by Soroka’s Breast Health Center must remain not only adequate, but cutting-edge.


More than 12,000 people over the age of 65 are also treated at Soroka each year, and there is great need for a comprehensive geriatric assessment clinic and for the hospital’s geriatric services to be extended into other departments such as orthopedics and the emergency room.


Soroka’s physicians travel in mobile units to care for patients in remote clinics as part of Soroka’s famous community outreach programs.  Its physicians are faculty members and scientists at the Ben Gurion University Medical School, located on the hospital campus.  Soroka educates the Negev ’s diverse population in preventive care and public health.  Soroka conducts exemplary retraining programs for immigrant physicians and nurses, aiding greatly in their new lives in Israel.  These programs are in danger for lack of sufficient support.


Soroka Medical Center combines the achievements of the pioneering Israel you’ve always loved, and significant opportunities to become partners in meeting very real needs.


The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of Soroka Medical Center


The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)of the Soroka Medical Center is the only such unit in the entire Negev, covering over 60%of Israel ’s land area.  The unit provides primary, secondary and tertiary care facilities to about 400,000 children aged one day to 18 years.


Soroka’s PICU is one of the busiest pediatric intensive care units in Israel, with a constant occupancy rate of over 100%.Admissions have increased steadily over the years, from 200 in 1984 to 500 in recent years.  These young patients reflect the diversity of the Negev population: new immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia, children of veteran olim from North Africa, Europe, North and South America, children of Bedouin families in the Negev.


The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit receives an unparalleled variety of the most severe cases, including terror attacks, traumas, near drowning accidents and burns.  The unit also deals with severe infectious diseases, cardiac, respiratory and renal failure, and young patients who have undergone open heart surgery and neurosurgical procedures.  Many of the severe conditions the PICU treats are indigenous to the Negev: each day children ’s lives are saved from scorpion stings, snake bites, or intake of poisonous plants rare in other geographical areas.


The permanent staff of the unit includes intensive care pediatricians and nurses.  Care in the PICU is family-centered; parents are allowed to remain near their child for unlimited periods and are even encouraged to help in simple procedures.  The PICU social worker, who ideally would accompany each child and family throughout the hospitalization, helping to alleviate their anxiety and fear, is unfortunately available ¼ time only.


The “pediatric risk of mortality score ” of the Soroka PICU, based on the severity of cases admitted, equals that of major university medical centers in North America and Western Europe. Thanks to the high quality of care provided by the outstanding PICU staff, the unit is proud of its 95%survival rate, this despite the unit ’s crowded physical facilities which are poor by comparison.


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