Emergency care at Hadassah

Dr Matthew O’Meara with Israeli and Palestinian students at Hadassah.

A MEDICAL team from Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH) at Randwick has returned from a high-impact visit to Israel, where Australian doctors ran a course on paediatric emergency health care at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem.

Dr Matthew O’Meara, NSW’s Chief Paediatrician, a paediatric emergency physician and director of emergency at SHC, Randwick, led the team to visit Hadassah at the invitation of Israeli colleague Dr Saar Hashavya.

Hashavya had trained with SCH in 2015 as part of its Paediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship, funded by AUSiMED and philanthropist Steven Lowy.

“Saar returned to Israel with an ambitious plan: improve the emergency care of children and build relations between clinicians and countries through health care and education,” stated O’Meara.

Following months of planning, O’Meara, as well as Dr Arjun Rao and nurse educator Jane Cichero, visited Israel late last year to lead the four-day Paediatric Emergency Medicine workshop course with Hashavya and his team.

Bankrolled by Project Rozana, a fundraising program for the treatment of critically ill children from the West Bank and Gaza in Israeli hospitals, and by the Peres Institute for Peace, 18 doctors and nurses from Israel, the Palestinian territories, Gaza and Iraq attended the course.

O’Meara said the syllabus “focused more on providing hands-on training through advanced simulations and skill stations, rather than lectures”.

“While English was our shared language, we were teaching health professionals from varying cultures, with varying skill levels, from an experienced orthopaedic surgeon to junior paediatric trainees and nurses,” he said.