Securing Medical Services for Israel’s Periphery

1 April 2020

After pressure from Shatil, the Union of Private Ambulances, and MK Jaber Asqala (a former Shatil Associate Director), the Ministry of Health agreed to provide protective gear for non-MDA (Magen David Adom) ambulances, which are crucial to Israel’s periphery.

The gear protects ambulance drivers as well as patients, many of whom are elderly and in greater danger of contagion.

Israel has 1200 ambulances, half of which belong to MDA, but 60% of ambulance use in Israel’s periphery – which is disproportionately populated by Mizrahi Jews, Ethiopian Jews, and Arab citizens – is overseen by other organizations and private companies.

In this new reality of the coronavirus outbreak, Shatil continues to convene organizations and activists pushing for more just and equal government policies, meeting online instead of face-to-face.

For example, Shatil is assisting Bedouin activists advocating to halt of home demolitions during the pandemic and to create an isolation area for unrecognized Bedouin villages. Shatil helped Ethiopian Israeli healthcare providers petition the Ministry of Health to meet their community’s needs and is also connecting them to Amharic-language media in order to provide accurate and culturally accessible health recommendations.

In two short weeks, Shatil has transformed itself into an organization that works virtually. In the largest Shatil training ever, 180 people are attending a four-part series on “Resource Development and Financial Management in Crisis Situations,” which is opened to all civil society organizations and not just NIF grantees. Hundreds of other activists have attended online trainings on a range of topics.

“The trainings really helped us as an organization to make decisions and to get organized for this new reality,” said Fida Nara, co-director of Mahapach-Taghrir.

“The content and presentations were excellent, and equally important was the chance to meet with other organization directors and to see that they are dealing with the same thoughts and dilemmas – that I am not alone.”

Shatil also is convening organizations and activists in new online forums such as the “Forum for Leadership and Management in a Time of Crisis,” composed of social change organization directors accompanied by Shatil organizational and resource development experts.

Shatil is closely following the evolving situation. In such times of crisis, NIF’s and Shatil’s solidarity and leadership are essential for Israel’s social change community.