Emergency medical services are an integral component of the public safety network that keeps our world safe. Often, they’re the first responders to accidents and medical emergencies, and in addition to providing lifesaving medical care, they form a crucial link between people and healthcare facilities. Emergency services save thousands of lives each year, and a well-functioning emergency medical system can be the difference between life and death for many people.
When most people think of emergency medical services, they probably picture an ambulance, sirens and lights ablaze. And while paramedics, EMTs, and emergency transportation are all important pieces of the larger emergency services system, they comprise only a small part of an extensive network. The full scope of emergency medical services includes:
Emergency medical services play a critical role in preserving public health and safety during the best of times. In 2014, Israel saw 2.9 million visits to emergency rooms. Often, emergency medical providers such as paramedics and EMTs are the first responders to accidents, and disasters. For many patients, the prehospital triage, treatment, and transportation provided by emergency medical teams is their entry point into the healthcare system.
The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 and the subsequent years have been a blunt lesson in exactly why emergency services are important. Like many other healthcare institutions, EMS agencies have dealt with staffing shortages and a lack of necessary medical equipment. Meanwhile, providers have suffered from burnout and the stress of being on the front lines of the pandemic, and their continued exposures and quarantine. At the same time, many EMS agencies experienced a decrease in overall call volume during the pandemic, which resulted in lower income and financial difficulties.
As a nation with a high prevalence of unrest and violence, Israel’s emergency services occupy a position of unique importance—and also face a unique set of challenges. Amidst the increased demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, Israel’s emergency medical services (which has previously achieved international recognition for the success of its volunteer component) have also struggled to balance the fallout of violence and unrest.
Amidst the uncertainty and trauma of the last two years, the Nazareth Hospital has emerged as a source of comfort, stability, and outstanding treatment for Israelis. Recently, a poll published by Israel’s Ministry of Health placed the hospital second on its list of best emergency rooms in the country.
The award was attributed to the high standard of medical care that the Nazareth Hospital’s ER staff have unfailingly continued to provide, even in spite of the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospital was rated according to patients’ satisfaction with treatment experience, condition of the ER’s infrastructure, wait times, regularity of treatment and follow-up care, communication on the part of staff, and respectful interaction with the patient.
The award also comes on the heels of praise from the Scientific Academy Council, which recognized the Emergency Department for its specialization in emergency medicine and for serving around 70,000 patients each year.
The Nazareth Hospital is proud to do the lifesaving work that it does, and public support is crucial to that mission. The Nazareth Project is the primary US partner of the Nazareth Trust, an organization dedicated to serving the population of the Middle East and the wider world through healthcare, education, proclamation, and service. Our work and mission are rooted in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, though we are committed to serving all peoples, regardless of faith, political affiliation, or tradition. Offerings of the Trust include the Nazareth Hospital and the Nazareth Academic School of Nursing, as well as Nazareth Village and SERVE Nazareth, both of which allow patients, students, volunteers, pilgrims, and tourists to deepen their relationship with God and one another. Contact us today for more information on our programs, or consider donating to support our work!