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Frontline Library

Overloaded Hospitals

Israel as a case study 

In September 2020, the Israeli government was considering (and later implemented) a second “full” lockdown over the upcoming holiday season. (The first such lockdown was arranged six months earlier over the Passover holiday.) A key factor in the decision to re-lockdown the country was the governmental claim that Israeli hospitals were totally overwhelmed and had well over 100% capacity for COVID patients.[1] [2] The situation was allegedly so bad that the Health Ministry ordered hospitals to stop all non-urgent treatments and surgeries.[3] Shockingly, the hospitals themselves counter-claimed that they were far from being “at capacity”.[4] This prompted an undercover investigative report by Israeli Channel 12, which proved that the COVID wards were actually well under capacity.[5] In response, the Israeli government quickly expunged all COVID hospital data from their website[6] and the second “full” lockdown in Israel proceeded. Weeks later it was revealed that about a third of hospitalized COVID “patients” in fact recovered from COVID and were in the hospital for unrelated issues.[7] 

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[1] https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-lockdown-will-last-at-least-a-month-possibly-much-longer/

[2] “Health Ministry claims COVID wards countrywide overcrowded”


[3] “The Health Ministry has ordered hospitals to discontinue all elective (non-urgent) treatments and surgeries, claiming the system is flooded with coronavirus patients”


[4] “Ministry’s statistics had massively inflated the number of patients at a number of hospitals”


[5] “In some wards, occupancy rates are only 50%, contrary to ministry report”


[6] “Israel’s Health Ministry has scrubbed its coronavirus information page of all data regarding the status of coronavirus hospital wards across the country.”


[7] “[A given patient] is defined and included in the number of hospitalized COVID patients, even though the coronavirus is not related to the reason for hospitalization” 


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