Emergency Services on Hol Hamoed Passover-To Go or Not to Go

Despite the fact that now I spend most of my days surrounded by others people’s medical reports, often arguing with secretaries, my first love was and still is public health and its sister, at least in my mind, health research. 

So each show, I’ll discuss an area of public health to review, either in Israel, or globally, and rate it using that quintessential public health tool, the Likert Scale, the ubiquitous measurement that allows you to value any topic from 1, I despise it or I vehemently disagree, to 5, I love it or I wildly agree. 

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Today’s topic is emergency services during Hol Hamoed Passover.  To go or not to go?

I have a client who’s been suffering from a condition for some months.  We finally managed to find an expert to examine her , and made  an appointment. However, that appointment is in a month from now. She feels she cannot wait.  Understandably.  She remembered that often I tell people in a semi emergency situation, if it severe enough to grant you a referral to the ER, go.  Because further testing can sometimes be a lot easier to receive when you are inside the system.

But not if it’s a holiday, even a week long holiday. 

First off, hospitals and health funds are running on their shabbat schedule.  That means that they are in emergencies only mode.  No regular specialist visits, no reception hours.  Everyone not essential is off.  Technically the Israeli government tells people that ½ day of work = full day of work during this period..  Meaning, if you take off a weekday during hol hamoed (Passover or Sukkot) you only use up ½ of a vacation day.   But many work places “ask” their employees to take vacation then, and close up shop for the entire time.  Many smaller clinics are closed and the larger ones, are open till noon. 

Hospitals are operating on the same schedule.  There are few staff, and those that are there because they really have to be there.

What does that mean for you?  Obviously, if it is an extreme emergency, like a heart attack (even suspected), labor, profuse bleeding, broken limb, unconsciousness, possible stroke,  get yourself to the ER.  If you are not feeling well, but not sure what it is, or you’re having a severe health situation but it’s been going on for a bit of time, now is NOT the time to go to the ER. Or even the clinic.   

I told my client, stay home. It’s not worth the headache. 

Hold tight, rest up, make an appointment, and go after Passover is over.

I give going to the ER during Hol Hamoed Passover two points on the Likert Scale.

4 thoughts on “Emergency Services on Hol Hamoed Passover-To Go or Not to Go”

  1. Gaila Cohen Morrison

    Our family had a lot of fun this pesach using emergency services several times.
    I must say that places were empty and service quite fast.
    But all was for real emergency services that could not wait.

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