Police have opened an investigation into the complaints of medical malpractice made by the relatives of residents of Mishan senior living center in Beersheba, according to N12. As of Friday, 13 former residents have died of COVID-19.
Last week, N12 reported that the families were planning to sue Mishan’s management company and the Health Ministry for medical malpractice. So far, the name of only relative is on the suit, though others are expected to join.
The Health Ministry identified weeks ago that Israel’s 260,000 senior living center residents are at the highest risk of becoming morbidly ill with the novel coronavirus. The ministry appealed to the Home Front Command, which is now acting.
Furthermore, just before Passover, the ministry changed its testing policy in senior living facilities and is now testing everyone if one person – staff or resident – becomes infected.
On Passover 3,000 tests were conducted in senior living centers, but many argue these moves were made too late.
Former geriatric center residents now constitute around 30% of all coronavirus deaths in Israel.
For example, in addition to the four residents who died from Mishan over Passover, two more people passed away from the senior center in Yavniel, bringing the death toll there to five.
Multiple residents have also died from the Nofim senior living center in Jerusalem.
N12 said that the family members say neglect led to their relatives becoming sick with corona. They claim that the medical staff and Health Ministry did not screen or even isolate residents after the initial patients were diagnosed with COVID-19. Moreover, it took them too long to diagnose the first patients who complained of pain and fever.
The results, according to the lawsuit, were sick and dead residents.
Mishan told N12 that it is unaware of the lawsuit and believes that if it does exist, it is unfounded.
“There is no justification for opening the investigation,” Mishan said in a statement.
“Mishan’s medical staff accurately followed the Health Ministry’s guidelines from the beginning of the crisis.”
According to the statement, the company’s CEO asked the Health Ministry to test all residents, but the ministry stalled on moving this forward.
“We demand that the Health and Defense ministries take responsibility for the fate of the elderly population who are in these homes,” Mishan concluded.