United Hatzalah CEO Moshe Teitelbaum responded to the State Comptroller’s Report concerning the organization, Magen David Adom and the state of pre-hospital emergency medicine in Israel that was published on Monday.

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United Hatzalah volunteers together with their ambucycles

“We are pleased that the State Comptroller raised the pertinent issues regarding the health of Israeli citizens and among them issues the directly result in saving lives of the country’s citizens. We hope that the Health Ministry and Magen David Adom will adopt these findings and recommendations and that together, we will double the strength of Israel’s lifesaving force by fully including the 5,000 volunteers that make up our organization.

The shortage of ambulances during a time of national emergency as described in the report can be solved by adopting our program of 600+600 that would see the 600 private ambulances around Israel used and dispatched during a time of national emergency as well as on a regular basis to assist in the treatment and transport of injured and sick people to the hospital.

In light of the criticism, we hope that the Health Ministry, which is re-organizing the management of the entire field of pre-hospital emergency medicine, will work quickly to finally bring about full cooperation between Magen David Adom and our organization as well as with the private ambulance companies. Such cooperation would add greatly to the security and health of all of Israel’s citizens.

The State Comptroller warned that during a national emergency there would be a severe shortage of qualified EMTs and paramedics. We, therefore, repeat and stress the importance of cooperation between all of the organizations working in prehospital emergency medical care in Israel.

We call upon the Health Ministry to implement the recommendations of the State Comptroller quickly and equally. The current solution that was provided by the Health Ministry of a dispatching application for all responders equally, has resulted in extreme lapses between dispatching volunteers of different organizations and endangers the lives of responders who ride motorcycles to emergencies. There are, unfortunately, many bugs in the current application with regards to finding the exact location of an emergency. In addition, hundreds of volunteers from United Hatzalah have still not been connected to the application.

With regards to the operation of a dispatch center by United Hatzalah, every citizen has the right to contact our dispatch center that serves as an alternative for those among the populace who do not have the financial ability to call for a regular ambulance. We are certain, that the Health Ministry, which is a ministry that cares about the social welfare of its people, will take this important fact to heart when establishing their new protocols.

United Hatzalah is always ready to cooperate with the staff and volunteers of Magen David Adom in order to save lives and assist any citizen or resident of Israel who requires assistance and we will always provide that assistance free of charge.”

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