The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Medical Corps’ emergency field hospital has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the best in the world, becoming the first to receive the highest possible ranking under the UN agency’s new classification system for disaster response teams.
“It’s a national honor for the State of Israel and for the Medical Corps,” said Col. (res.) Dr. Ofer Merin, commander of the IDF General Staff’s Surgical Hospital Unit.
The Israeli field hospital received the WHO’s highest possible level 3 classification, designating it as capable of managing “complex inpatient referral surgical care, including intensive care capacity.”
The hospital received some additional “specialized care” recognitions for burn units, dialysis, obstetrics and gynecology, and reconstructive plastic surgery.
“We’re going to recommend the director-general verifies [Israel’s team] as a Type 1, Type 2, and also Type 3 and multiple different types of specialty cells,” announced Dr. Ian Norton on Wednesday, the Times of Israel reported.
Norton spearheaded the new classification system, which aims to hold foreign medical teams accountable to a set of minimum standards, as well as to streamline disaster response by enabling recipient countries to declare and receive support according to their needs.
An influx of foreign medical teams to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, for example, was criticized for burdening response efforts with many teams arriving without adequate experience or supplies to sustain their own operations.
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