Israel's aid mission leaves for Haiti....
When will the Saudi ships leave???
The Israel Defense Forces' aid mission to Haiti left Israel overnight Thursday with equipment for setting up an emergency field hospital. Around 220 soldiers and officers are in the delegation, including 120 medical staff who will operate the hospital in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.
The original plan was for the IDF to first send a Home Front Command rescue team, followed by medical teams.
But after contact was made with the Haitian authorities, the army and Foreign Ministry decided that the Caribbean country's most pressing need was extra medical staff. Nearly every hospital in Haiti was destroyed in Tuesday's earthquake.
The mission includes 40 doctors, 20 paramedics and 24 nurses, as well as medics and medical technicians. Around a third of the delegation is made up of reservists who were called up specially for the mission.
The IDF's chief medical officer, Brig. Gen. Nachman Esh, said that while the field hospital will largely treat trauma patients, similar to those encountered in a war, specialists in various other fields have also been sent.
"We expect to have to deal mainly with trauma cases, but when we arrive there, we also expect to encounter the secondary wave of infections and diseases, as well as the routine cases that the local hospitals would usually deal with," Esh told Haaretz.