Israel’s emergency response network

In 2016, Israel’s emergency response network was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the international leader in disaster relief. In recognition of Israel’s EMR preparedness, the WHO recently accredited the IDF Medical Corps at the level of type 3+ designation. Only a handful of emergency medical response teams could even attempt to qualify for Type 3 status. In fact, no other nation in the world ever received the coveted 3 score. This SIGNAL Note entited ‘Israel’s Emergency Medicine, Global Trend Setter’ discusses why Israel received this award and the important contribution made by IDF’s medical corps.

This note will show how emergency medical procedures developed by the Jewish state could prove essential to China’s increasing role in international emergency response community. Israeli disaster relief teams have found creative and lifesaving methods to prevent major casualties. Additionally, this SIGNAL Note will touch on how Israel’s creative solutions for emergency medicine could help facilitate the aims of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

Natural disasters and humanitarian crises often require a concerted international effort to address the large-scale humanitarian damages which follow. To organize this complicated and time sensitive process the World Health Organization (WTO) has created the Emergency Response Framework (ERF). This organization defines the protocol for procedure. It details the requirements and experience needed to prevent the further loss of life and destabilization of WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) infrastructure.

With broad global support of this ERF, the WHO and vital international players such as China, are shifting the tides of humanitarian strife. They are building response networks aimed at mitigating the structural damages caused by disasters and emergencies situations. China wants to face these challenges in an ever-more effective way. Furthermore, as China becomes a ‘moderately prosperous society’ with the second largest economy in the world, its responsibilities and international obligations to prevent humanitarian crisis grow exponentially. To ensure China develops the best practices and the most innovative approaches to emergency response management, Israel’s field tested methods could provide a useful case study in preventing the loss of life in global disaster areas.

Israel achieves WHO’s highest rating in the Emergency Response Framework

From 2001–2010 an average of more than 700 natural disasters and emergencies situations occurred globally every year. These disasters affected an estimated 270 million people and caused over 130,000 deaths annually. 25% of these emergencies, and 44% of these deaths, occurred in the developing world with limited capacities to prepare and respond effectively to emergencies situations. To decrease humanitarian loss and prevent the spread of disease associated with natural disaster, the IDF’s Medical Corp has dedicated significant intellectual and financial resources to the field of Emergency Medical Response (EMR). The IDF Medical teams implement Israel’s innovative spirt and battle tested techniques to consistently illustrated global best practices in the most extreme disaster recovery zones. Israel has led the international medical response community as the only country to receive the 3+ designation thus becoming the top ranked team in the world. In receiving the highest ERF designation, Israel gains increased access to international disaster areas which will enable its medical team’s priority on the ground as first responders. 

According to the ERF “Field hospitals can receive the Type 3 designation if they include at least 40 beds and can handle 15 to 30 surgeries per day. Type 3 field hospitals should also provide a number of other services, including rehabilitation.” Israel’s field hospital blows past these requirements. A Type 3 field hospital needs 40 inpatient beds, Israel’s has 86. A Type 3 hospital needs two operating rooms, Israel’s has 4. Simply stated, Israel is the international leader in emergency medical relief and clear model for the EMR community for shaping future practices and response protocol.

As a small nation with limited resources Israeli technology and innovative approaches are impeded by the scale and scope of the nation itself. If Israeli practices and creative thinking could be cultivated with the intellectual and economic capital of China the sky is the limit. If Israel EMR best practices could influence Chinese response strategy, human and propriety losses part and parcel to disasters and emergency zones could decrease across the board. In the field of EMR this could result in Israeli ideas and practical medical solutions alleviating the humanitarian casualties in areas of major Chinese economic, diplomatic and political focus. 

How is this relevant to China?

China’s vested interest in Israeli emergency medical technology and response methods are linked to its desire to promote market stability and enable less risky investment climate. In practice by implementing Israeli solutions to disaster relief and emergency management systems, Chinese policy makers can help prevent economic and humanitarian losses. This could be applicable in areas where China has ongoing projects, ex pat populations or investment. As policy coordination is a fundamental aim of the BRI, facilitating cooperation in the context of Israeli emergency preparedness techniques could provide the catalyst to productive partnerships. In bringing professionals together across borders the creative solutions to emergencies are established. This could lead to valuable partnerships and innovative approaches, all under the auspices of the BRI policy coordination strategy.

In Real terms, what impact could this make for China?

As Chinese SOE’s are heavily invested in areas which stand at risk for natural and manmade disaster, a coordinated response protocol could provide the framework needed to prevent losses to life and property tied to these events. Building upon Israel’s internationally recognized methods and innovative approaches to emergency situations could enable China to create a top of the line response protocol. If enacted this could significantly decrease investor risk and unneeded loss across China’s investment portfolio.
In real terms this means that through the stabilization of medical services and deployment of emergency response capabilities, disaster areas can be functioning sooner and the flow of goods and services can promptly resume in the lines of production. For Chinese investment, this means minimal break in the supply chain with the additional benefit of providing a vital resource for at risk populations. Creating situations which promote win-win cooperation stand at the core of Chinese decision making and, in the case of emergency preparedness illustrate tangible economic benefit while alleviating humanitarian strife.

As China expands its reach outward through the BRI and international investment opportunities its ability to pragmatically response to global crisis becomes a formative challenge. Building upon the technological and experience tested methods of Israeli partners could provide Beijing with a simplified path to resolving many of the difficulties faced in international disaster relief. By incorporating innovative Israeli approaches the Chinese can mitigate the risks of international humanitarian disasters without having to start the process at square one.

How does this Impact Sino-Israel Relations?

Israel’s perspective on Sino-Israel relations is to bring added value to the equation. Israel’s newly recognized status as THE global leader in this field stands as a clear sign that this is an area where the Jewish State brings significant added value.
Emergency Medical Response preparedness reflects a growing and globally significant field in which Israel clearly adds tremendous value. As such, the important breakthroughs made by Israeli emergency medical response teams presents an opportunity to build cooperation between Chinese and Israeli partners. If the impact of EMR is realized within China this could provide an essential in road to Israeli innovators and medical professionals to Chinese markets. For Chinese strategist, EMR provides a vehicle to promote international good will while modernizing its own domestic medical procedures.
To facilitate stronger bonds between the Jewish State and the Middle Kingdom cooperation is critical to establishing professional partnerships. EMR presents a field in which Israel could surely share its knowledge and experience to China. For Israel, this could enable broader medical cooperation and lasting connections with the future thought leaders of China. Although complex, EMR provides an avenue to build upon existing bilateral partnerships and create new ones for the betterment of all.