State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman toured the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya today (January 10, 2022) together with the director of the medical center, Prof. Masad Barhoum. On the tour the Comptroller examined up close the COVID-19 hospitalizations at the hospital and the state of medicine in the north, following the audit report published recently on the neglect of the medical system in the north. The Comptroller visited, among other things, the women's and maternity ward, the underground hospital and internal ward B.
On his visit, Englman related to the Omicron wave, the system of antigen and PCR tests, and the issue of vaccinations, and said:
"I'm announcing here that we intend to conduct an audit of the management of the crisis on the national level and the decision-making processes in the government in the fourth and fifth wave. In the previous waves we examined, among other things, the management of the crisis on the national level, the conduct of the Ministry of Health including regarding the testing system, the economic plans and the activities of the Ministry of Education, and we intend to examine some of these issues in the current wave as well and whether the lessons from previous waves have been learned.
Among other things, we will conduct an audit of the conduct of the government and the health system on the topic of the testing system, the way decisions were made, the efficiency of the testing sites and additional issues.
In addition, we will conduct an audit of the vaccination system – including the aspects of procurement and other accompanying processes.
For two years the world has been coping with COVID-19 with all of its variants. The policy that I outlined upon entering my position is to conduct audits from the perspective of the citizen. Therefore, I intend to continue to conduct audits on the way the government and all of the relevant ministries and public bodies have conducted themselves in relation to coping with the most serious global crisis of the past few decades."
In relating to the medical system in the north, the comptroller said: "While we are in a hospital in the north, it is important that I mention the report on the topic of the national plans for developing the north and their implementation, which we published in October 2021. We found that the infant mortality rate in the north is 2.6 per 1,000 live births – among the highest in Israel, and that the rate of physicians in the northern district is among the lowest in Israel – 2.2 doctors per 1,000 people, which is about 50% of the rate of physicians in Haifa, center and Jerusalem districts. I expect that the government will work to rectify the deficiencies that arose in the audit and will examine the implementation of the recommendations in order to bring the most advanced medicine to the north."