Sunday, March 11, 2007

Medical Corps Plans for 2007

The IDF will allocate over 70 million shekels in an effort to replenish stocks of medical supplies which were used during the Lebanon war, the Medical Corps decided during a conference at the Glilot base last week.

The annual conference is held in order to map out the Medical Corps work plan for the coming year, though this gathering was especially significant given that it was held in the aftermath of the second Lebanon war. The lessons of the war prompted a change in the Corps' method of operation.

The first priority for the coming year will be to refill the IDF's emergency medical supplies in the case of an outbreak of war. To that end, 70 million shekels will be spent in purchasing medical equipment that will be available to all of the IDF's field units up to July.

The next order of business, it was decided at the conference, was to place added emphasis on the training of reserve soldiers serving in medical units. Brigadier General Dr. Hezi Levi, the IDF's chief medical officer, said that this training will be based on the basic doctrine of fighting which has guided the Medical Corps. That doctrine will not change due to the Lebanon War.

"The emphasis is on improving the coordination between medical units in an emergency situation in both the northern and southern sectors," Levi said. "It's a mistake to [implement a] training program based on what happened in Lebanon."

Dr. Levi noted that this year will represent a pivotal stage for the Medical Corps, which will need to adjust to the upcoming privatization of routine medical services.

"The key is not just how much money we will save, but whether the privatization will harm the level of care given by combat doctors," Levi said. "We need to carry out the privatization in areas where we are relatively lacking compared with the civilian agencies and we need to remember that this decision will influence the relationship with the IDF and those who serve in it."

The head of the Logistics Branch, Major General Avi Mizrahi, proposed that Medical Corps officers attempt to persuade soldiers who stand out to continue their service in the professional
army. "We need to act now so that in another 10 years there won't be mediocrity," Mizrahi said.

"I will offer incentives and the necessary budgetary resources in order to keep those whom we need."

"The Lebanon War left us with with many lessons, among them that we need to do a house cleaning," Mizrahi said. "The Medical Corps is a good, professional organization and I trust that it will know to correct what is needed to correct."

IDF Spokesperson - Tuesday 06/03/2007 09:30