For the first time, 26 (!) loaning centers for medical equipement will function in Europe which is definitely a monumental piece of good news for the European public. The founders of the centers are the “Rabbinical Centre of Europe” and the “European Jewish Association” instituting the name ” European Chesed Center”. The RCE’s Deputy Director General Rabbi Yosef Bainhaker is the coordinator of the project.
The signing of the contract was a milestone in the process of instituting the many exclusive European centers in the project. The RCE and the EJA consulted with medical staffs about the resources required to establish loaning centers that exist in Israel but do not at all in Europe. Various investigations took a long time during which professionals involved in the field have assisted with guidance and advice.
The European project is rare and incomparable. It requires a significant logistical arrangement alongside financial resources. At the end of last week, representatives from the RCE and the EJA signed a contract with a medical equipement supplier leading in the field. Every branch with be provided with equipment worth tens of thousands of euros.
The Chairman of the RCE and the EJA, Rabbi Menachem Margolin stated that the goal is to allow Jews to borrow medical equipment in their own community and use it in their homes for a period of time when they need medical aid.
The centers will supply crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, breathing devices, walking apparatus, nursing pumps and many other basic items available in Israel. The equipement is remarkably expensive, therefore most ill cannot afford assistance. Ailments are pushed aside and uncared for, causing intensive suffering. The RCE and the EJA accepted the challenge and undertook the responsibility to support the invalids, incapacitated and bedridden. The centers will prevent families from having to purchase the medical equipment which saves heavy expenses incurred by patients and their families. Sometimes patients had to give up basic and necessary equipment or take upon themselves a hefty purchase. The possibility of receiving it free of charge will also save money for the health system, decreasing days of hospitalization while patients are safe in their own environment adapted to their needs, at home.
The fact that the proper equipment for the medically challenged is in hands reach, directly enhances the healing process and the quality of life. Up till now, patients were required to be hospitalized for rehabilitation processes. Now the “European Chesed Centers” will provide a warm home environment with the help of the appropriate equipment that will aid the patient’s conditions and promote the recovery process.
As a part of the project, a pilot of 26 communities including Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria and other European countries were chosen.
The patient can borrow the equipement for up to 3 months, with the possibility of extension. If the pilot succeeds, the project will expand to all of Europe.
The Director General of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, Rabbi Arie Goldberg said that the European Jewish communities applaud the new development and feel deep appreciation for the initiative. Many express that this will immensely help patients who feel the shortage of medical aids.