A new Health Ministry report published on Monday reveals hospitals that have emerged as most contaminated over the past year.
According to the report, hospitals found to be least hygenic are located in big popultaion centers such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center has emerged as the most overall contaminated hospital in Israel, while Sheba Medical Center at Tel HaShomer near Tel Aviv had the biggest number of bacteremia - sepsis-causing bacteria.
The report divides the hospitals into four groups according to their size, and measures the number of bacterial infections per 100,000 days of hospitalization.
Among Israel’s large hospitals, the report found that Shaare Zedek Medical Center is followed by Assaf Harofe Hospital in Be’er Yaakov, Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan and Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, among Israel’s largest hospitals, Be'er Sheva’s Soroka Medical Center was found to be the least contaminated and with the least cases of infections caused by bacteremia.
Among Israel’s medium-sized hospitals, the highest rate of contamination was found in Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, followed by Haifa’s Carmel Medical Center, Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hedera and finally Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
Among Israel’s smaller hospitals, the highest rate of contamination was found in Laniado Hospital in Haifa, followed by Hasharon Hospital in Petah Tikva, Assuta Medical Center in Ashdod, Mayanei HaYeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak and Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias.
The report adds that in Israel, between 4,000 and 6,000 people die each year as a result of bacterial infections contracted at hospitals.
In response to the findings that Sheba Medical Center leads the country in the number of bacteremia infections, the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Eyal Zimlichman said Israeli health system is mainly focused on battling bacteria resistant to antibiotics, which does not include bacteremia.
"Hospitals have been making significant efforts [in combating bacteria resistant to antibiotics] in recent years. Not every bacteria has the same clinical significance. We at Sheba, decided to put our efforts into combating the most dangerous bacteria.”
Shaare Zedek, which was found to be the most contaminated hospital in Israel overall, wrote in response the report does not reflect the burden each hospital is faced with.
"In 2020 Shaare Zedek was one of the three hospitals that treated the largest number of coronavirus patients... The data [presented in the report] does not reflect the full picture of this exceptional year, in which the burden on hospitals was not equal."
Hadassah Medical Center, which was found to be the third most contaminated among Israel's largest hospitals, also issued a response: “We see an improvement at Hadassah compared to the same data presented the previous year. Hadassah treated the largest number of coronavirus patients in the country, which put a lot of pressure on inpatient services. And as we know, there is a correlation between crowding and infections.
“Hadassah Ein Kerem has performed and continues to perform intensive work to reduce all types of infections at the hospital," said the statement.