The struggle over the establishment of the central hospital in the Negev--the Soroka Medical Center Academic Article uri icon


  • In December 1959 the Central Hospital for the Negev (today, the Soroka University Medical Center) opened its doors. This event was preceded by an arduous political battle over the Location of hospital facilities for inhabitants of Israel's south. On one side was the presiding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who opposed the establishment of a hospital in Beer Sheba by the Clalit Sick Fund. On the other side were Beer Sheba's residents, led by David Tuviyahu--mayor of Beer Sheba, and Moshe Soroka--a member of the Clalit Sick Fund's management, who sought to bring about the immediate establishment of a hospital in the city itself, following the decision of the Hadassah Women's Organization to close the temporary hospital they had operated in Beer Sheba since 1948. The work at hand describes the ideological and political struggle between the two sides, the conflicting interests of the Government of Israel and the Labor Federation regarding the health needs of the city, and the factors that, in the end, led to the establishment of the hospital by the Federation's Clalit Sick Fund. The research is based on both archival material and on input from informants from the period who constitute primary sources.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010