To all our honored Jewish brethren residing in the Catskill region and beyond, sheyichyu;
The quality of medical care in the Catskill region is unfortunately not on the level of care that you are accustomed to in the city. Certain medical capabilities and treatments are just not available in the local community hospitals (as is well known both inside and outside our communities) and frequently results in delay of proper care.
Some examples include but are not limited to the following; interventional cardiac care (catheterizations, stenting, cardiac surgery, etc), accredited stroke centers, high risk obstetrical and neonatal care, pediatric emergency centers, pediatric ICU and specialty care, trauma centers, adult and geriatric specialty care, etc.
Catskill Hatzolah is an organization characterized by self sacrifice. Its members are presented by an overwhelming task of providing pre-hospital emergency care for well over 250,000 Jewish summer residents; they should live and be well. Their resources are frequently stretched thin in their Holy work. It is incumbent on us to support them with moraland financial help.
Every Jewish soul is Divine and needs to be treated as such. Every Jew in medical need deserves swift, prompt, and state of the art medical care, whenever and wherever possible. Patients have THE RIGHT TO REQUEST FROM HATZOLAH TO BE TRANSPORTED TO THE BEST APPROPRIATE MEDICAL CENTERS AVAILABLE OR OF THEIR CHOICE.
It is self-understood, that if the patient is medically unstable (G-d Forbid) as per Department of Health protocols, the patient needs to be taken to the closest APPROPRIATE medical center. However, in many cases, patients are stable enough and SHOULD be transported to the best medical centers available or of their choice.
We were advised to proclaim, by Rabbinical Authorities, that every Hatzolah member is required by Halachah to provide the highest standard of medical care and guidance and to treat each patient as a member of their own family.
Hatzolah members and the public should be aware of the following: patients should be transported from the scene to the best appropriate hospital in the first place. The notion of “transporting to the nearest facility”, however substandard, “to stabilize and then transfer to a better facility”, is against Halachah, DOH protocol, unethical, and can result in unnecessary morbidity and mortality, G-d Forbid.
The public should be aware of resources available to them. If you need medical advice: for example, which medical center is most appropriate for your particular medical problem, or if you find yourself, for whatever reason, in an inappropriate emergency room or admitted at that same hospital.
feel free to call “Venishmartem” / KJ -PALS ( Patient Advocate and Liaison Service) at:
845-783-PALS (7257) or KJ Hatzolah at 845-783-1212.
Sincerely and with Blessing for a Ksiva V’chasima Tova,
Moshe Aron Steinberg – Director