Shortly after the establishment of the state of
Israel, 501 tuberculous patients were sent to the Rehabilitation
Center for TB patients at Neve Chaim. Many of these tuberculous
patients had arrived sick and destitute, had gone through the concentration
camps, and, the torture, hunger and fear had seriously undermined
their health. Their conditions, therefore, made treatment more complicated.
The aim of the Center was to restore the patients self-respect
and make each one a tax-paying citizen through environmental treatment,
individual approach and vocational training. When necessary, the
medical treatment was continued to ensure the patients eventual
discharge. Vocational training was started at about the same time
as the medical rehabilitation. In selecting a trade for the patient,
the persons inclinations, the educational level, results of
psychotechnic tests, the medical condition and trades for which
there were openings in the labor market were all taken into consideration.
The average course ran 10 1/2 months and, on completion, the trainee
took the General Federation of Labor Examination. Details of the
medical data of the patients, their economic and social problems,
discharge problems, non-rehabilitated patients, Programme B added
to the general rehabilitation programme to help effect the rehabilitation
of patients in the last stages of medical treatment and, follow-up
studies to determine the medical, vocational and social status of
each patient, are elaborated. The follow-up observations, which
ran for more than six years, showed that 80% of the patients succeeded
in becoming absorbed into their communities as normal, healthy citizens.
Similar measures to rehabilitate the tuberculous are recommended
to be carried out in hospitals and out-patient clinics and the need
for a widespread public information campaign is underscored.