By Judah Ari Gross - October 18, 2016
Originally appeared here in The Times of Israel
Israel’s military field hospital, regularly dispatched to disaster zones to provide humanitarian relief — and to win the Jewish state some rare international brownie points — may soon be awarded the World Health Organization’s highest ranking, which would make it the first in the world to be so recognized.
In 2013, the United Nation’s WHO created a set of criteria to classify foreign medical teams in sudden onset disasters, on a scale from one to three. No country has yet to receive the top mark and “only a handful in the world could even think of” doing so, according to the lead author of the classification system, Dr. Ian Norton.
Last month, a WHO delegation visited Israel to assess the IDF Medical Corps’ field hospital, a sprawling 26-tent structure, during a large-scale exercise in northern Israel to determine if Israel would indeed be the first to score a “Type 3,” Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Ofer Merin, commander of the field hospital, told The Times of Israel.
The field hospital is “not just some medics and doctors spread out in the field,” but is a “national treasure” that has the capabilities of an advanced, permanent hospital, but can be set up almost anywhere in under 12 hours, Merin said. Read More