Rambam Hospital in Haifa begins construction of World’s Largest Underground Hospital Facility

Rambam Hospital

Rambam Hospital

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October 26, 2010

Press Release – The night of Saturday October 9, 2010 marked the start of a crucial phase of construction at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, Israel. More than 70 workers at the site began to pour roughly 7,000 cubic meters of concrete, which will form the concrete base of Rambam’s protected emergency underground hospital and underground parking lot – the largest medical facility of its type in the world. The pouring, which continued for more than 36 hours straight, involved 80 cement mixers that completed 1,000 rounds of mixing. To meet the deadline, four Haifa area concrete plants supplied materials around the clock. The main reason for this project is to lay the foundation of the emergency facility, which is designed to withstand conventional, chemical, and biological attacks.

This project is slated for completion by May 2012, at which time the three-floor parking lot will provide much-needed parking space for some 1,500 Rambam workers and visitors. In times of emergency, the lot can be transformed at short notice into a 2,000-bed hospital that is secure from conventional, chemical and biological weapons.

In addition to being built underground, the emergency hospital will also sit eight meters below sea level. Designed to be self-sufficient, the hospital will be able to generate its own power and can store enough oxygen, drinking water and medical supplies for up to three days.

The Rambam Health Care Campus (RHCC) was established in 1938 and is the largest medical center in northern Israel. It was named for Rabbi Moshe Ben-Maimon “The Rambam” –the English-speaking world as Maimonides (d. 1204)–, the greatest Jewish physician of ancient times.

RHCC also serves as the principal medical facility for the Northern Command of the Israel Defense Forces. The medical center comprises 36 departments with some 1000 beds, 45 medical units, 9 institutes, 6 laboratories and 30 administrative and maintenance departments. Among RHCC departments, some are the exclusive providers of comprehensive services for all of northern Israel, including trauma treatment, oncology, and neurosurgery. As an academic hospital, RHCC maintains vital teaching and research links with the Technion’s Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, providing a dynamic clinical environment for diagnosis, treatment, and research.

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