Israel’s Rabin Medical Center rescue workers deployed to earthquake stricken Turkey and Syria.
(as adapted from article by by Dr. Eran Rothman and published by USA TODAY Network)
When an earthquake struck the Middle East on February 7, 2023, leaving significant casualties and destruction in its wake in Turkey and Syria, it was Israel, the smallest country in the region that jumped in to not only offer its condolences but more importantly its state-of-the-art rescue capabilities, field medical personnel and assets to help its neighbors. Within hours of the initial incident, Israel’s first humanitarian aid delegation had arrived in Turkey, and more are scheduled to arrive in the coming days. While Israel is one of the smallest countries in the world, when it comes to humanitarian efforts, it is one of the largest.
At the core of Israel’s health care system is the Talmudic verse, “Whoever saves a life, it is as if they have saved a world.” It is the reason Israel is almost always one of the first countries to offer humanitarian aid during and in locales of crisis, in conflict zones, and in other places where local rescue and health care infrastructure are overwhelmed or destroyed.
Over the years Israel has developed the necessary equipment to rapidly deploy field hospitals across the world within a matter of a few days, all with advanced capabilities to support multiple medical disciplines and specialties, and invested in medical technologies that allow these hospitals to operate much like brick-and-mortar medical centers throughout the world.
The personnel joining these humanitarian efforts include doctors, nurses and paramedics serving in the medical branch, and Israeli engineers and other rescue workers who support the search and rescue efforts. They train together and ultimately, serve together when called upon. With short notice, they drop everything, hug their families goodbye and board the plane to work around the clock saving lives.
Rabin Medical Center, one of Israel’s largest and most prominent medical centers, is proud to be a leader in implementing innovative tools and treatments for earthquake victims. Rabin Medical Center doctors are on the ground in Turkey, helping with the search and rescue efforts.
By working in partnership with local rescue and health care providers, Rabin Medical Center’s humanitarian delegation members have helped to build capacity and strengthen the systems already in place in crisis-affected locales. This helped to ensure that services are sustainable and accessible to those who need.
Regardless of the patient’s race, religion, political affiliation or a host nation’s position on international affairs, Israel’s rescuers and the Rabin Medical Center first responders provide care in some of the world's most difficult and challenging environments, including conflict zones such as Ukraine and natural disasters in Haiti, bringing a suite of capabilities at the medical and rescue levels. The moral obligation, to save lives wherever and whenever possible drives these heroes as they serve humanity in one of its pivotal moments. Godspeed to the men and women on the ground.
Eran Rotman MD, MHA, serves as the deputy director of Clalit’s Rabin Medical Center and director of Beilinson Hospital in Israel. Rotman is a senior lecturer on Disaster Medicine at Bar Ilan University and has participated in humanitarian missions, most recently to Ukraine in 2022.