When Mikhail Radotsky’s mother became ill, Radotsky – adviser to the Ukrainian president for health and medical affairs – brought his ailing parent to Israel for treatment.
He was so impressed by the Israeli healthcare system’s “professionalism and efficiency” – in particular the Magen David Adom (MDA) national emergency medical and disaster service – that Radotsky later promised his mother on her deathbed that “we would try to bring to Ukraine what we saw here in MDA.”
Radotsky, who also holds the title of head of the Ukrainian State Health Committee, was in Israel this month along with Sergiy Shefir, first assistant to the president of Ukraine, to learn more about MDA’s technology and methods in order to “improve response and arrival times in Ukraine.”
The two surveyed MDA’s system for quickly activating volunteers and the organization’s range of rescue vehicles, including mobile intensive care ambulances and mini electric vehicles. They also toured MDA’s emergency ambulance driving simulation system.
“We believe that by using your technologies, we will be able to shorten patient arrival times in Ukraine, thereby saving lives,” Radotsky said after the visit.
“The territory of Ukraine is larger than the State of Israel, and our population is larger, which challenges us in the area of emergency medicine and rapid arrival to patients,” added Shefir. “We intend to invest the best effort, in collaboration with you, in order to make the emergency medical and ambulance operations in our state more efficient.”
Magen David Adom, Israel’s version of the Red Cross, operates 161 stations and dispatching points across Israel, which are used as the bases for 1,050 MDA vehicles. These include 715 white ambulances (50 with 4×4 drive), 379 mobile intensive care units, 24 mobile mass casualty incident units, 500 motorcycles, two helicopters, and eight “Tomcars” (off-road vehicles). An additional 45 ambulances are leased to communities, plants and institutions in confrontation zones and in periphery areas of the country.
MDA regularly welcomes medical professionals and officials from around the world “who come to visit MDA, share knowledge with us and learn from us,” said MDA Director General Eli Bin.