A Playground of Healing and Compassion
22 September 2016
When a child has to go to hospital, it can be especially stressful for both the patient and their family.
Shaare Zedek Medical Centre is Jerusalem’s Hospital with a Heart and it provides a unique experience for its youngest patients at the newly opened Wilf Children’s Hospital within Shaare Zedek.
With 110 beds, the new Wilf Children’s Hospital is the first children’s hospital in Jerusalem and is one of the largest children’s treatment centres in Israel.
Shaare Zedek treats 24,000 children every year in its Paediatric Emergency Room and associated departments, providing a response to any medical problem in child health.
The Wilf Children’s Hospital offers the best possible medical treatment in an atmosphere of brightly coloured murals and equipment. It is a trailblazer in its approach to providing the best in physical and emotional care for Jerusalem’s children.
From the moment a child is brought to Shaare Zedek, they receive specialized treatment designed to take care of young patients and their specific needs.
Shaare Zedek has a separate Paediatric Emergency Room with its own ambulance entrance dedicated to children only. This prevents the child from having to be treated at the general emergency department and then having to be moved.
The Wilf Children’s Hospital spans 2 floors of the hospital’s $US120 million Next Generation Building which is adjacent to Shaare Zedek’s main hospital building.
The project was made possible in large part through the generosity of donors from all over the world including some support through incentives provided by the Israeli government.
The Australian Community played an important part in this crucial project, with the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek raising funds to pay for the 4 bed Paediatric Intensive Care Treatment Area within the Wilf Children’s Hospital.
Professor Agi Bankier, Deputy Chair of the Australian Friends of Shaare Zedek toured the Wilf Children’s Hospital during a recent visit to Israel.
“I was most impressed with the Wilf Children’s Hospital within Shaare Zedek” she says.
“There is an armchair or bed for the parents next to every child’s bed and each bed is connected to an electronic entertainment system and a free wi-fi connection. There are only one or two patients per room and patients receive the best medical treatment in a comfortable and private environment.”
The Wilf Children’s Hospital includes innovative therapies some of which are unique to Shaare Zedek. Art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy and medical clowns all help ease the pain and stress of illness.
In yet another way that Shaare Zedek cares for more than just the medical needs of its young patients, there is an official Ministry of Education school which is integrated into Shaare Zedek Medical Centre to ensure that children who are hospitalized for long periods do not have to fall behind in their schoolwork. The school even offers a matriculation certificate.
Agi says, “Visiting the Wilf Children’s hospital at Shaare Zedek was truly a highlight. The professionalism of the medical team combined with the compassion shown to the young patients was truly symbolic of what makes Shaare Zedek the outstanding institution that it is.”