An underground parking garage in Israel has been transformed into a 2,000-bed hospital, prepared to care for patients and wounded soldiers in the event of a second front opening in the north of the country. The facility is fortified and can provide supplies for 8,000 people for three days.
An underground parking garage at one of Israel’s largest healthcare centers, the Ram Bam Medical Centre in Haifa, has recently undergone a remarkable transformation. Now serving as a fully-equipped 2,000-bed hospital, this underground facility provides a safe haven for patients and wounded soldiers in the event of a second front opening in the north of the country.
The decision to convert the parking garage into a fortified hospital was inspired by the 2006 war with Hezbollah. During the conflict, the hospital was bombarded by rockets, raising concerns about patient safety during times of war. With tensions escalating once again between Israel and Hezbollah, preparations to open this facility began last week.
Unlike the missiles launched by Hamas in the south, which are known for their inaccuracy, the missiles from Hezbollah are far more powerful, explosive, and accurate. This $140-million fortified hospital is designed to withstand both conventional and non-conventional warfare, including protection against chemical attacks.
Remarkably, not only can this hospital provide essential medical care, but it is also self-sufficient for up to three days. It has ample supplies of water, food, and oxygen to sustain 8,000 people. This level of preparedness ensures that even if the facility needs to be sealed off, it can continue to function independently.
The activation of this underground hospital required significant coordination and effort. Within just 30 hours, staff and Israeli Defense Force soldiers worked tirelessly to set up the hospital, starting with clearing the parking garage and bringing in essential equipment such as beds and cribs.
While the hope is that this hospital will never be required, the staff are fully prepared for any eventuality. Many of them have personal connections to the ongoing conflict and have experienced loss firsthand. Their dedication and commitment to providing care in the face of adversity is truly exceptional.
In addition to treating current patients from the above-ground hospital, this fortified facility can also accommodate wounded soldiers and civilians. As the death toll from the war continues to rise, with over 4,000 lives lost as of Monday, the need for such a hospital becomes increasingly urgent.
The transformation of this underground parking garage into a state-of-the-art hospital showcases the resilience and resourcefulness of the Israeli healthcare system. It stands as a testament to the commitment to protect and care for the population, even in the face of the most challenging circumstances..