Israel’s healthcare system has succeeded in the initial stage of treating the thousands of wounded that arrived at Israeli hospitals since the first day of the war. Now it is time for the next stage: the rehabilitation of the wounded both physically and psychologically.
Following acute treatment, life-saving interventions, surgeries, and stabilization, all of the wounded will require a long rehabilitation process to regain the functions effected by their injuries. In contrast to the acute life-saving and relatively short stage, rehabilitation is a long journey involving extensive human resources and budgets.
This rehabilitation challenge is met by a depleted rehabilitation infrastructure with a number of beds significantly lower than the OECD average and a shortage in human resources (rehabilitation doctors and healthcare professionals – physiotherapists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists).
Rehabilitation is a holistic endeavor that involves expansive human resources and operates based on a multi-professional teamwork model. Prof. Avi Ohry, a senior physician at Reuth TLV Rehabilitation Hospital (cited from TheMarker article): “The technology has changed over the years, but the model is the same: the cooperation between health professionals – physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, speech therapists, and psychologists – with the rehabilitation physician conducting the orchestra”/
Dr. Dana Gefen Doron, Director of the Head Injuries ward at Reuth TLV (cited from The Marker article): “Rehabilitation does not focus on a physiological system, an organ or particular bodily function, but rather on the patient’s overall functionality. There are fields in medicine in which the doctor is the star, for instance, a revered eye surgeon. In our hospital, the focus is on the patient. A rehabilitation team will include social workers, psychologists, nurses, and healthcare professionals, with the patient’s capabilities as a key factor in determining their rehabilitation program. When I look at a patient, who usually comes to us after experiencing a catastrophe, I can see what they will be like in six months and what their level of functionality will be. I will never look only at their injuries.