“It is forbidden to dwell in a town without a doctor…” (Talmud, Sanhedrin)
In a country whose medical services are in need of “major repair”, where health expenditure is less than a quarter of that in neighboring Europe, and where life expectancy is about 10 years lower, it is not always wise to entrust one’s health to the State.
Supplies are low; equipment is outdated; and patients must supply their own linens, food, medicine and coats to prevent freezing in unheated wards. But worst of all, state doctors and nurses – many of them inadequately trained – often demand additional payment for treatment, above and beyond their government salaries.
In response, the FJC, in partnership with the International Fellowship of Christians and local supporters has established a network of free medical clinics that offer first-aid and preventive care in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, ear, nose and throat care, optometry, dentistry and even reconstructive surgery. Medical staff members receive special training in American hospitals and Federation member communities supply free medications to their sick and elderly.