The IFCJ donation will serve to purchase three MRI machines for Barzilai Hospital in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, which also serves the Gaza Strip area, Ziv Hospital in Safed and Porya Hospital in Tiberias, both in the north of the country. The funds will also finance the construction of a safeguarded building for Emek Hospital in Afula, also in the north.
These hospitals currently do not own an MRI machine, and their patients must sometimes wait long weeks until a portable machine becomes available. The Health Ministry has recently granted a few hospitals in the periphery the authorization to purchase and operate MRI machines, but did not provide them with the needed resources to actually buy them. Prior to the donation, the hospitals simply could not afford the equipment.
The decision to invest in these items was made following the advice of MK Rachel Adato, and was approved by the Health Ministry.
While hospitals in the center of the country are often wealthy and have the ability to fundraise the amounts needed to purchase such equipment, IFCJ supports the weaker, less resourceful hospitals that are less successful in raising the funds.
'We must prepare for attacks'
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the IFCJ said: “Hospitals in the north and south of Israel are supposed to provide emergency treatment to those affected by war and violence, but they lack the basic equipment to do so. We pray that we won’t need it, but must be prepared and ready for possible future attacks on Israeli citizens.
"At times of quiet, the IFCJ donation provides a solution to the sad but true saying that ‘if you need a MRI examination you better be living in the center of the country,'" he added. "While the government promises time and time again to provide the necessary funding, we assist the residents waiting sometimes many weeks for a MRI scan.”
The IFCJ, which is based in Chicago and Jerusalem, was founded by Eckstein in 1983, aiming to bridges between both faith communities, and together support Israel and Jews in need throughout the world.
To date, the IFCJ has raised two-thirds of a billion dollars to support programs aiding the sick, elderly, orphaned and at-risk populations in Israel, the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, India, Latin America, and Arab countries.
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