A delegation of British heart surgeons have returned from Israel’s border with Syria after their sixth Anglo-Israel Cardiovascular Symposium, an annual event developed in response to the boycott movement.
Some of the UK’s most senior cardiologists visited Poriah Hospital in Tiberius, which has treated Syrian refugees from across the border, and the clinicians praised the mix of Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze staff at the centre.
Among the 22 renowned UK experts hosted by Dr Ofer Amir and his team were Prof. Stephen Brecker, a consultant cardiologist at St Georges Hospital in London, and Romeo Vecht, a private cardiac surgeon also from London.
They were joined by leading practitioners from Soroka Medical School in Be’er Sheva in the south and Rambam Hospital in Haifa in the north, among others.
Two of the most high-profile speakers were Prof. Ulrich Sigwart from Switzerland, who pioneered the use of stents at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, and Israeli Prof. Lior Gepstein who demonstrated how to use energy from light to stimulate the heart to beat.
Attendee Jonathan Behar, Cardiology Registrar at Barts Heart Centre in London, said: “We were all blown away by the country, the incredible speakers and innovation from the Israeli side and quite frankly, seeing the country from a different perspective, compared with how it is normally portrayed in the British media.”