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The history of Soroka University Medical Center is intertwined with the history of Beer-Sheva

IHistory[1].jpgt goes back to the late nineteen-forties, soon after the War of Independence, when Beer-Sheva was liberated by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). A short time later, a temporary military hospital was established in the city and managed by the Israeli army medical corps, providing hospitalization services and first aid to soldiers and the handful of civilian residents of the area. In October 1949, the military hospital became part of the Hadassah Medical Organization.

At the same time, a Clalit Sick Fund clinic was opened in the city.
The first residents of the city at this time were mainly IDF veterans, but during the 1950s, a flood of thousands of new immigrants arrived. The difficulties of their absorption and their special health needs presented a challenge to the existing hospitalization services, which were quickly becoming unable to meet the needs of the growing population of the largest region of the country. At the end of 1952, Beer-Sheva's population was approximately 14,500, and the entire population of the South was approximately 26,000. The hospitalization capacity of the hospital increased to only 50 beds, and a solution was urgently needed.

Fortunately, the late Moshe Soroka, administrative director of Clalit Health Services, had the vision early on to see that the Negev was on the verge of rapid development and growth and so needed a major change in terms of hospitalization capacity. He was the guiding force behind the establishment of the new hospital, which was seen as a national security priority, especially following the Kadesh Campaign. Despite resistance by the late Prime Minister

David Ben-Gurion and the Minister of Health, who felt that the government and not Clalit Sick Fund should establish the hospital, building commenced in the summer of 1956. Three years later, in October 1959, the opening ceremony was held in the presence of many honored guests from Israel and abroad. Ben-Gurion made an official visit to the hospital six months later and approved the placement of his bust in the entrance hall of the hospital.

The dream of the Central Hospital of the Negev had become a reality.