Despite outmoded and obsolete equipment, the Interventional Cardiology Unit at the Carmel Medical Center is a Clalit center of excellence. On every metric, its doctors match or beat international standards for best practices. It is a certified training site for fellowships in interventional cardiology. It serves as a tertiary center to which complex cases are referred. Led by Professor Ronen Jaffe, the six-member cath team performs 1900 procedures annually. Booked at well over 100% capacity, the team operates non-stop, 12 hours a day. Carmel has two cath labs. While one is appropriately equipped, the other is in urgent need of upgrading. It cannot handle complex procedures. Its imaging quality is inferior; diagnostic findings may be less accurate. Radiation exposure to patients and operators is of concern. This forces cardiac patients to wait – sometimes for three months – until a slot opens up in the other lab.
With new equipment, exposure could be reduced by more than half. The need for an updated cath lab is especially great because Carmel is a major provider for the entire northern periphery, and it is especially renowned for its capabilities in the most complex cases. The population of metropolitan Haifa, including its northern periphery, is 924,400. Yet medical services lag far behind the center of the country. With two fully functional cath labs, the cath lab team would increase the number of procedures performed annually by 15% — up to 2,200.
The cost of equipment and lab renovation is $1,539,839. Clalit Health Services will match every contribution dollar for dollar. The total needed to be raised is $769,919.