TEL AVIV – The United Nation’s World Health Organization recognized the IDF’s medical and disaster relief team as “the number one in the world” in a ceremony last week.
The IDF’s field hospital is regularly deployed to disaster zones all over the world. It received a “Type 3” designation from the WHO, making it the only field hospital in the world to achieve that status, its commander, Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Ofer Merin, said.
“We’re going to recommend the director-general verifies [Israel’s team] as a Type 1, Type 2, and also Type 3 and multiple different types of specialty cells,” Dr. Ian Norton, the head of the WHO delegation, said Wednesday during the ceremony at the Medical Corps’ base in Ramat Gan, outside Tel Aviv.
“We haven’t had that ever before,” Norton said, adding that it took close to a year of hard work by the Israeli team to receive the designation.
Members of the IDF’s Medical Corps will meet with the world body at a formal ceremony in Hong Kong at the end of the month.
Even though the UN is generally viewed as negative towards Israel, Merin said the WHO representatives were “not one bit” biased.
The IDF’s field hospital performs with the same aptitude as a regular hospital except for the fact that it can be set up in almost any location in under 12 hours, Merin told the Times of Israel.
Following natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons, the IDF Medical Corps have sent relief and rescue missions to Turkey, Haiti, the Philippines, and Nepal among other countries.
“It’s a proud moment for all the Jews around the world and for people from Israel and for people from the IDF Medical Corps. It’s great moment for all of us, really. It’s a great moment,” Merin said.