Neve Yaakov, what makes this story different from other stories?

נווה יעקב - צו הרחקה

On 31st October 2012, the Petach Tikva Police Force carried out a raid on Neve Yaakov, a psychiatric hospital in the middle of the town, and arrested a number of members of staff on suspicion of abuse and neglect of the residents. Up to it’s closure, Neve Yaakov was a private psychiatric hospital that for years housed, in a closed ward, about 150 residents with psychiatric disability, some with both mental and intellectual disabilities. Bizchut, who had repeatedly warned the Health and Social Affairs Ministries of what was going on there following numerous visits during the previous 2 years, demanded that the facility be shut down immediately.  This demand, together with the media attention and public pressure in light of the arrests and anger that Ministry officials had not taken action earlier, led the Health Ministry Director General to announce the closure of Neve Yaakov.  The residents, some of whom had been living there for many years, were moved to other facilities, including community-based housing.

As soon as the story broke, Bizchut turned to Professor Ronni Gamzu, Director General of the Health Ministry and demanded a policy change that would bring about the closure of all private psychiatric institutions and where possible, relocation of residents to rehabilitative facilities in the community.  We asked that special facilities be opened for people with dual diagnosis (intellectual and mental disabilities) who today often spend years living in closed psychiatric wards not because they need to be hospitalized, but because no suitable alternative is available to them.

We are delighted to report that the Health Ministry has announced its decision to shut down closed psychiatric wards in private hospitals and is also re-examining its policy concerning placement of people with mental disabilities in intensive residential treatment centers: a closed psychiatric facility that we believe should be replaced with community-based alternatives.