Planned population growth in the Negev, including the building of IDF training centers in the south, led to a 2014 government decision in principle to build a new hospital in Beersheba in addition to the city’s Soroka University Medical Center. In fact, this view was expressed as far back as the 1970s, but nothing was done. A few weeks ago, health economists and other experts held a conference at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on the subject of another hospital that was attended by Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov.
It was said that the greater Beersheba area will have a million residents in a few years, compared to 650,000 today. But planning and building a new hospital takes seven to 10 years, and there is already a severe shortage of nurses and of doctors in certain specialties, especially in the periphery of the country.