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The Canadian Friends of Rambam Health Care Campus

Is a not-for-profit organization created to co-ordinate the Canadian effort to spread awareness and support of Israel’s Rambam Hospital. It is governed by a national board that is made up of outstanding leaders who are volunteers that care deeply for Israel and the well being of its people.

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More trauma patients are seen in Rambam every day than in all Israeli hospitals combined.

If Rambam is to continue providing essential medical care to Northern Israel’s diverse population, we need your help! To support our programs and services, please Make a Gift. 

Parking Garage Becomes 1,750-bed Emergency Hospital

Written by Joanne Hill

Monday, 17 May 2010

TORONTO – The Canadian Friends of Rambam Health Care Campus (CFRAM) recently hosted an improv theatre with a twist: the stage was the underground parking garage at Greenwin Square, and the actors portrayed doctors and patients at a real-life underground parking garage/trauma hospital currently being built in Haifa.
The audience was made up of about 200 surprised guests who, while enjoying food and drinks at the CFRAM fundraiser, suddenly heard an announcement, first in Hebrew and then in English, informing them that the emergency hospital was now ready and guides would help them calmly and safely go downstairs.

During times of peace the three-storey underground building at Rambam Health Care Campus (RHCC) will serve as a much-needed parking garage with space for 1,500 cars, but hidden behind walls and tucked into various rooms will be equipment and supplies that will allow it to be transformed quickly into a 1,750-bed emergency hospital able to withstand conventional and non-conventional warfare.  Ambulances will bring patients in through tunnels equipped with decontamination stations.  If needed, the entire hospital  may be sealed off from the rest of the world for 72 hours.

The structure is scheduled to be completed by 2012 and will be one of the largest underground hospitals in the world. The site has been dug and construction is under way.  
Since it is below sea level, pumps are being used to continuously drain water. A new complex above-ground – slated for completion by 2014 – will house a children’s hospital, cancer and cardiovascular hospitals and a biomedical research tower.

RHCC is a leading trauma care centre that serves more than two million residents in northern Israel. During the 2006 war with Lebanon, about 45 missiles landed dangerously close to the hospital; as a result, doctors and staff realized major changes needed to be made. Six months ago they opened a new emergency department that can withstand missile and chemical attacks.

Dr. Rafael Beyar, CEO and general director, RHCC, told the Jewish Tribune, “Rambam has always been a hospital that is associated with the strength of Israel in times of war as well as innovations in times of peace. In the 2006 second Lebanon war, we saw that hospitals are not spared from missiles. For a full month we were actually attacked by missiles from Lebanon, which were threatening the lives of patients...so we must be sure that we have the ability to treat them safely under all conditions.... Some people think that they (hospitals) are targetted because they are highly densely populated.”

Dr. Michael Halberthal is director of pediatric cardiac intensive care at RHCC; he also works in hospital administration, and during emergencies he is the chief of triage. He was on the frontlines at the hospital during the 33-day war in 2006.

“One-third of our casualties were civilians, not soldiers, even though it was war,” he said. “We were sitting in our hospital in the northern part of Israel and rockets were falling around us as we worked. We heard explosions, the walls were crumbling.  Everybody says we were lucky the rockets didn't hit the hospital because nothing was fortified. I was sitting there in front and it was just a matter of luck."

For more information or to donate, phone               (416) 481-5552         (416) 481-5552 or email info@cframbam.com. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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As the world watches what is happening in Syria, we should not be surprised to discover that Rambam Health Care Campus remains in the news. Equipping the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital is more urgent than ever! Watch this CNN newsclip  to learn more. You can also read this article that recently appeared in the National Post .