A joint seminar on ‘surgical management in austere environments’, was organized a few weeks ago by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), together with the Ministry of Health and Magen David Adom (MDA). 30 medical professionals, mostly surgeons representing all hospitals in Israel, IDF and MDA, participated in the seminar held in Ashdod, and exchanged their experiences.

A specific panel was held on ethics while providing assistance to wounded in such contexts. “Throughout the seminar we discussed also the moral dilemmas and ethical issues in such situations – which cannot always be solved – but being aware of it can prepare the medical teams to deliver better assistance”, said Dr Harald Veen, ICRC Chief Surgeon, based in Headquarters in Geneva.



“In the past we were part of several delegations to disaster areas, and we know the issue of medical treatment in austere environment. So we see the importance of exposing Israeli doctors to such conditions. They will understand that this is not the environment they used to work in, and they will obtain tools from those who have experience – to cope with treating wounded in such situation”, says Tomer Kaplan, MDA disaster management officer.

Click on CC to watch with English subtitles


“The art of allocating resources in the right way and giving each wounded the right respond – is art that each medical system should know how to cope with”, says Lt. Colonel Yitzhak Avraham, IDF Head of Trauma.

Click on CC to watch with English subtitles


“We have been working very closely with the Israeli ministry of Health and MDA to facilitate this seminar with them”, says Kirilly Clark, ICRC Health coordinator in Israel and the occupied territories.

“There are legal issues surrounding the provision of medical care and the dangers to the provision of medical care in armed conflicts as well as other emergencies outside of armed conflicts. It is important for an audience like this to understand what their rights and what their responsibilities are vis-a-vis the authorities and the other stakeholders in these environments”, says Larry Maybee, Head of the legal department for the ICRC, Israel and the occupied territories.



Read more:

Surgical Management in Austere Environments: An interview with Dr. Harald Veen

Israel a role model for disaster medicine, says ICRC chief surgeon