On January 19th a festive ceremony was held to officially open the Galilee Medical Center's Women's Health Wing in the presence of Israel's Minister of Health, Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, other senior officials from the Health and Finance Ministries; Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, President of Bar-Ilan University; mayors of Northern municipalities and regional councils; dignitaries of all the different faiths; Raya Strauss Ben Dror, President of the Friends of the Galilee Medical Center; Board Members, the GMC's management, Prof. Jacob Bornstein, Head of the Women's Division, other employees and distinguished guests.

 

The ceremony marked the first stage of the project which consists of twelve fully protected Labor and Delivery Rooms (including natural childbirth rooms), clinical obstetrics and follow-up care for pregnant women, two Maternity Wards (with only single or double hospitalization suites), and two nurseries for newborns, a new Ultrasound Unit and an Underground Protected Hospitalization Wing.

 

The construction cost approximately 130 million New Israeli Shekels with the bulk of the money coming from the government. The Galilee Medical Center and its Friend's organization are in the process of raising funds for the construction of the second phase which is also estimated to cost about 130 million NIS.



The Women's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, already known as a center of excellence offering quality medical services, is at the forefront of women's health services in Israel. The Department sees approximately 5,000 births a year and is one of the busiest in the country in terms of deliveries. It is also one of a select few hospitals in Israel that handles the specialty procedure known as treatment of invasive placenta and it receives referrals from around the country of women who need this treatment. The Department's vision is to offer access to the highest quality of medical services to women locally, close to their home in the North of Israel.  The approach is a multidisciplinary one to encompass all aspects of medical care for women.

Additionally, in the last several years the GMC's Women's Health Division has become known as a prominent academic training facility for Israel's fifth medical school, Bar Ilan's Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, of which Prof. Jacob Bornstein, Head of the Division, is Deputy Dean. The new modern structure covers approximately 10,000 square meters including the Underground Protected Facility and three above ground floors enabling women in the Western Galilee and along Israel's Northern border to receive the highest professional health care in one structure.



Knesset Member and Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, said
"I see a great value in opening this new maternity ward to serve the entire population in the area. Moreover, I intend to continue to promote and strengthen the Galilee Medical Center's other departments such as Internal Medicine and Operating Theatres in order to strengthen medical treatment in the northern periphery."



General Director of the GMC, Dr. Masad Barhoum, remarked,
"This is a celebration for all the residents of the North. We work hard throughout the year to give professional and humane medical care to the community we serve. To that end we work to open new departments and units, obtain state of the art medical equipment to enable our professional medical team to provide the highest level and variety of medical services for our patients. I have no doubt that the Women's Health Wing and its new delivery rooms heralds a positive change in the conditions for our patients and quality of hospitalization from the moment they enter the Galilee Medical Center, to delivery and until they return home."