"I would like to inform you that a few surgical wards do not have the minimal manpower needed to provide the appropriate surgical response in times of routine, let alone in times of emergency," the association's chairman, Dr. Ricardo Alfici, wrote in a letter.
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"Since the situation is reaching the point of disaster, I am requesting you to consider enlisting surgeons for reserve service for the purpose of reinforcing these hospitals," the letter read.
Alfici told Ynet that that Israel's surgical establishment is on the brink of collapse: "There is a severe surgeon shortage in most of the hospitals in Israel, and for a lack of a better option the hospitals are forced to employ interns and split shifts in order to always have at least one surgeon on hand. We have been warning about the issue for over a decade, but now the situation has become unbearable.
"If, God forbid, there is a mass terrorist attack or a large car accident, there are strong doubts that we would have enough professionals to provide service," he added. "Our request to the chief of the Medical Corps was made as a last resort, after our appeals to all other professional bodies have proved useless. We hope that the army will fulfill our request and send the reserve surgeons to serve in hospitals instead of army clinics."
Dr. Ohn Sibirsky, also of the association, expressed hope that the Medical Corps chief will hear the plight of the surgical establishment. "It must be understood that even in times of calm we have trouble functioning, so in case of a disaster the surgical system will collapse."
The IDF said the letter has yet to be received it the Medical Corps chief's office, and that it will be addressed accordingly when it arrives.
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