Kol Chai Radio, 18 November 2017
When the Knesset Committee for Social Equality recently visited Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Centre, chair Miki Zohar MK praised the hospital’s psychiatric services: “This is a model for every hospital in Israel.”
Tel Aviv’s District Psychiatrist Dr Uzi Shai said: “What we are seeing here is a genuine revolution in reducing the stigma of mental illness. Israeli society usually gives low priority to mental health. Patients have no voice. But Mayanei Hayeshua offers a totally fresh approach. The hospital’s Mental Health Wing is not a psychiatric institute – it’s a five-star hotel!”
Professor Rael Strous, medical director of the Mental Health Wing, told the committee that his department treats every patient as a human being. “We have introduced a paradigm shift in mental health treatment. Mental patients deserve being treated in optimal conditions. We don’t use restraints. The hotel-like environment facilitates the healing process, speeds recovery time, and allows the patients to be rehabilitated back into the community. There are more than 12,000 visits to the department each year.”
CEO Shlomo Rothschild told the committee: “Our focus is the patient. Not the illness, not the problem – the individual. We offer every patient the same warm embrace, which is why we have topped Ministry of Health national patient satisfaction surveys for three years running.”
Committee member Lea Fadida MK expressed her astonishment that 600 religious mothers recently attended a Mayanei Hayeshua conference on Eating Disorders: “The hospital clearly works out of a special sense of mission.”
Miki Zohar summed up the visit. “The health revolution that Israel is experiencing begins with creative people with vision. The committee plans to ask the Minister of Health to allow Mayanei Hayeshua to add more beds so that more patients can benefit from these extraordinary treatment conditions. This must become a pilot program for the whole country.”
In the last week of November 2019, Professor Rael Strous, the South African-born medical director of Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Centre, and professor of psychiatry at Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Medicine, was in London for a busy round of meetings and events organised by the British Friends of Mayanei Hayeshua.