DemographicsThe total population in Nazareth is 74,620. In the past, the majority of the population in Nazareth was Christian, but today the majority is Muslim. Over the years life expectancy has increased which has led to an increase in chronic diseases.
HistoryThe Nazareth Hospital is licensed and accredited by the Israeli Ministry of Health. It follows and abides by all the regulations and standards of the Ministry of Health. The Nazareth Hospital does not receive regular government subsidies for capital investment in buildings, equipment, and other major improvements. Neither do we have foreign donors who regularly contribute large amounts to our efforts. When it comes to capital development and purchase of equipment, Nazareth Hospital relies totally on gifts and grants from friends around the world.
In October 2011, the Nazareth/EMMS Hospital officially took on the role of a teaching hospital and opened its doors for the first group of medical students from the Galilee Faculty of Medicine affiliated with Bar Ilan University. Seven of the Nazareth Hospital EMMS departments are recognised for the school’s residency programme.
The paediatrics department at the Nazareth Hospital was established over 40 years ago by a missionary doctor who recognized the importance of developing and expanding services for children, including community-based health outreach to raise the awareness of mothers regarding child health.
Today the Nazareth hospital runs a very dynamic pediatrics department and a Neonatology department. With 18 hospital beds, a very dedicated team and despite the very limited space, the pediatrics department houses multiple services including general pediatrics, surgery, orthopedics, urology and plastic surgery and often times gynecology services for children.
It is also important to mention that the Nazareth hospital provides unique services in the region including treatment of burn patients and is the only hospital in the region that is certified by the Ministry of Health to treat and provide vaccinations for children who suffer from allergies that could compromise their condition when they are vaccinated for childhood diseases and require special attention and treatment.
The paediatrics staff applies the hospital’s biopsychosocial model, considering every aspect of the children and youth who come to them for care. The social worker and other multidisciplinary teams are available to intervene when needed.
Today, in spite of the department’s crowded physical conditions, patients and their families still prefer to come to the Nazareth Hospital because of the positive and supportive environment provided.
The Nazareth Hospital has the only psychiatry department in the area with Palestinian staff who speak Arabic, making it much easier for Arabic speaking patients to express themselves clearly to health professionals.
In cases where children require psychiatric consultation at the emergency room or paediatrics department they are provided with this service in their first language. In addition, children from the West Bank and Gaza are often referred for treatment to the Nazareth Hospital
The final beneficiaries of this project are the children and youth who will be better provided with immediate care. In 2015, 2,162 patients were admitted for hospitalization spending a total of 3,638 days in hospital. This is in addition to our out-patient and ER clincs.
Through this upgrade of the Pediatrics department, Nazareth Hospital will:
- Be positioned for accreditation as a paediatric training program to support the hospital in its role as center for Family Medicine residency training. This outcome will be measured by the number of resident doctors in pediatrics, measured against baseline data.
- Improve access to high-quality paediatric medicine. This will be measured by the number of children treated in the new facility, as counted against baseline values for that statistic.
- Increase available square footage dedicated to the comfort of patients and their families and caregivers. The new department will have a place where children can do homework, play, and receive family visits with some privacy. This can be measured by square footage gained. Additional emotional and psychological comfort, although qualitative in nature, can be evaluated through patient feedback.
- Increase the number of its staff with advanced technical skills and relevant professional expertise. This will be measured by tracking the number of staff trained in relevant paediatrics update courses as part of this project.
There is a fairly sizeable pricetag on the plans. The overall total to rebuild the entire Paediatric Unit will be in the region of $3.8M in the long term, which is a LOT, and assistance will be sought from elsewhere to help bring the plan forward. However everything you give will help, and you will know that you are helping the kids of Nazareth to move to a brighter future.