Israel’s Sheba Medical Center Turns 70

The Sheba Medical Center in Israel is celebrating its 70th anniversary and it takes pride in being an oasis of peace in a region filled with violence and turbulence.

It was originally established as the country’s first military hospital back in 1948 in order to treat soldiers who fought in Israel’s War of Independence (The First Arab–Israeli War) against a coalition of neighboring Arab states.

It was first called the Tel Hashomer Hospital but it was later renamed the Sheba Medical Center after the hospital’s late director-general who died in 1971.

David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister and the state’s primary founder selected Dr. Chaim Sheba, the first surgeon general of the IDF to take charge of the hospital. It later became a civilian facility and it became a hub for medical innovation and humanitarian outreach in the Middle East.

Dr. Sheba served as the hospital’s director-general for 33 years. He transformed
the 150 acre medical area from a group of old army barracks with 650 beds, into a 200 acre modern campus housing nearly 2,000 beds.

It has over 8,500 hospital personnel that tend to over 1 million patients a year. This makes it Israel’s largest hospital.

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