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Mar 31, 2011

Will Bet Shemesh Get A Hospital?

Bet Shemesh is still working to get a hospital built. Building a hospital has been on the agenda for years.

The problem with it is that the government has no desire to build new hospitals, especially in small cities. This is a major financial undertaking.

Until now there has not been much hope for actually getting construction for a new hospital approved. Larger cities, like Ashdod, have been trying for years and the government has refused to approve.

However, with the massive amount of housing slated to be built in Bet Shemesh in the coming years, Bet Shemesh is expected to catapult the list of cities going from 85,000 or so residents to nearly 250,000 in the next 9 years! Figuring that a city that size must have a hospital, the city of bet Shemesh is pushing the authorities to get such a plan approved. Not only would the massive amount of people require a nearby medical facility, but the way Bet Shemesh is spreading over various mountains will make the travel time to hospitals in other cities unacceptable.

Mynet says that Bet Shemesh is pushing hard, and has the support of Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman. Moshe Abutbol, the mayor of Bet Shemesh, says they have already designated an allocation of 120 dunam of land in the new areas of future RBS neighborhoods upon which the hospital will be built, if it gets approved by the health ministry and the various other offices.

While building a hospital will be a big boost to employment in the area, and would perhaps encourage people from the area to go to medical school and become doctors and work locally, and there is already a need (like any city has such a need) it is still hard to believe this will get approved quickly. With the finances of building a hospital, and maintaining it, so massive, it is just too much to believe.

The leadership of Bet Shemesh has good political connections in the Knesset and among the ministers, so they might generate some support. But even if they get some of the approvals, I have  a hard time believing they will get such a project off the ground any time in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. I hope Bet Shemesh gets a hospital. I would be glad to be in charge of the alternative medical department.


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