Located in Eilat, Yoseftal Hospital is the most remote medical facility in Israel. It is one of Israel’s most active international resort areas and is Israel’s southernmost hospital, located 150 miles away from the next closest hospital in Be’er Sheva and over 200 miles away from the country’s center.
Yoseftal provides several services particularly geared to the Red Sea region, including a hyperbaric chamber for the treatment of diving accidents, and kidney dialysis facilities that are available to vacationing tourists as well as to locals.
Eilat’s population is about 60,000, which swells to as many as 200,000 during tourist seasons. The new airport, which opened this year, is expected to substantially increase the number of international visitors. With just 65 in-patient beds, Yoseftal is small, and very busy. Each year, it handles 900 births and 4,000 surgeries. The ER sees about 45,000 patients per year. Additionally, there are 32,000 visits to Yoseftal’s outpatient clinic per year. Yoseftal also treats about 40 diving accidents each year in its hyperbaric chamber.
Eilat is also both a military and civilian harbor on the Gulf of Aqaba. It borders Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Because of its strategic importance, the Israel Defense Forces is transferring major operations to the south. It has built a central training base in the Negev and is now moving military intelligence and communication centers to the region. The influx of military personnel and their families makes Yoseftal vital to the area.