Rambam Hospital drill tests underground facility

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rambam Hospital in Haifa held a major emergency drill in its new underground hospital.

Tuesday’s drill tested the operations and preparedness of the the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital, which is scheduled to open in the next couple of months.

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The 2,000-bed underground hospital is designed to protect patients during time of war. It is the largest underground facility of its kind, Rambam said in a statement. It will serve as a garage during times of quiet.

During the drill, hospital staff transferred an entire department and several medical units from the hospital’s main building to the underground facility. Temporary toilets, showers and other equipment necessary to run the facility also were set up.

The underground hospital was initiated after the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when the hospital and its patients were under constant threat of missile attack.

It will be able to absorb hundreds of patients from other hospitals in the area in case of emergency, and will be capable of receiving and caring for hundreds of wounded, even while under fire.

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