A sick person is simply a person. Money, rank, nothing matters. Illness is the grand equalizer, and Israel’s public health care system is a type of real commonality among Arabs and Jews. It could easily be a model for other areas of life.

Of all government positions, Arabs achieve 6.8%, in the government healthcare scheme, they fill 12.4% of jobs, in nursing studies, including geriatric, 42% of students are Arab, pharmaceuticals has become recognized with the Arab population, 38% of druggists are Arab, at the Superpharm drugstore chain, 62% of the pharmacists are Arabs.

Furthermore, in medicine itself, the balance of Arabs is about similar to their dimension in the community. In 2015, 16% of all medical undergraduates were Arab, at the Technion medical school, Arabs were 38% of students and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 31%.

There are many reasons why medicine is a reachable career for Arabs, one being the continual call for doctors. Also, once you’re in, you’re in for life, while in technology, you’re considered old before your whiskers turn gray. Also, medicine is a reputable career.

Another reason Arabs select it is that the healthcare structure gives the chance to gain work exceeding the confines of Arab civilization, to become part of the Jewish community, which is usually out of bounds. In Arab culture, becoming a doctor is a trend and it’s an open profession, without a smidgen of security problems.

Somebody who studies electrical engineering or electronics, and wants to work in some organization that handles security matters, will have difficulty locating work. In Israel, doctors have no such difficulty. They are received with open arms.

What’s the intrigue of the healthcare structure? How do Arabs and Jews work side by side, including throughout wartime, without abrasion? One of the unwritten regulations is that politics is out of bounds, to the point of prohibition.

Burning matters of the day won’t be the subject of conversation over an operating table.

The instructions are straightforward. They are there, treating patients and saving lives, whoever comes, a soldier, civilian, or terrorist. Everyone is occupied saving lives. They clearly do not hearten political conversations at the hospitals.

Hospitals are not the place. And of course, you can’t control what other people speak about, so long as it’s just a couple of people just interchanging their beliefs, it’s a free country.

Although, in truth, as a structure, they do not permit it to affect conduct and treatment of patients. Although employees are not permitted expression of political beliefs.

One of the doctors wrote something, the doctor informed her, that he didn’t care about her political views, and that nobody did. She was a civil servant, and he required her to be a doctor and a human being with empathy, and that she should not have the pretension of being a judge.

She was told that if she did not remove it, then she was going into combat with the other doctor. She erased it and serves there to this day.

Another fact is that the structure of the hospital is shared, egalitarian, and promotion is founded on rank and skill, and everyone is treated equally, doctors and patients. Barricades descend. It isn’t that the Jew is the boss and the Arab is the cleaner, and everyone is equal when it comes to saving a life.

The sense of justness is the grounds for the good relationships between Arabs and Jews at the hospital. The nurses are all the same in salary, dignity, conditions and everything else. That’s not the case outside but it should be.

Doctors battle with life and death on an everyday basis. They fight together to protect life, not the other way round. That lofty common objective brings Arabs and Jews together in the profession. Perhaps we are a little naïve, but we would like to believe there is a special unity connected with the world of medicine.

They’re in the same camp, with a common adversary before their eyes, death, and disease, nevertheless, this suggests that the proportion of the issues they see on an everyday basis puts other things into proportion.

Fortunately, these relationships not only break stereotypes, they can extend beyond work. It’s a job they do daily without preconception, and in a growing society anything is feasible, there is no contempt or scorn when looking after patients that really require assistance.

If we can put our ideas and notions to one side when looking after the sick and dying, then that means there must be light at the end of the tunnel, which means that Jew’s and Arabs can exist as one, in a community, with each other in peace.

An ex-army officer who first came to lessons in uniform, with his firearm, now he takes breaks together with his counterparts, and now they go out to eat with each other. Arab doctors and nurses do not feel their cultural origin hampers promotion. They do not see a glass roof.

Clearly the system is an ambitious one, however, it doesn’t feel that the system attempts to trip anybody up, and the first female Bedouin doctor in Israel, says her being a Bedouin was less of a difficulty than her being a woman.

Still, this idyll at best lasts as long as they’re in uniform, and in the position of employment. At work, and in uniform, with a name tag, they are received as human beings, and nobody believes they’re up to no good just because they’re Arab.

Nevertheless, when they finish work and stroll down the street in a normal dress, they’re perceived differently, and it’s hard. In the hospital where they have some type of power. They can give something to people, and assist them.

In the street, people are worried. Perhaps they should saunter around with their uniforms on, or amble around conveying a sign saying that they don’t mean to do anything mean or bad to anybody.


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