Don’t try calling *3555

Wikipedia tells us that Maccabi Healthcare Services has close to 2.4 million subscribers.

As a senior citizen I received an email from them inviting me to call them on *3555 in order to book an appointment for my first vaccination against the coronavirus. Needless to say, the switchboard is always busy and it is impossible to proceed.

Even should you be fortunate enough to get through, it won’t help you. You’ll hear a recorded message inviting you, if you speak Hebrew, to dial *1. However, when you do so, all you will hear is the busy tone.

It is unbelievable in the 21st century that Maccabi could not have thought of a more efficient manner of handling the situation. Most people have smartphones these days, and it should not have been beyond their technical expertise to set up a system that would have enabled people to make an appointment to receive the vaccination without having to dial *3555 repeatedly to no avail.

Needless to say, our prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his cohorts received preferential treatment and were vaccinated live on primetime TV. (Some people are so distrustful of him that they are even questioning whether he actually received the Pfizer shot or was injected with water!)

If the intention was to encourage people to get vaccinated, would it not have made more sense for the doctors and nurses on the frontlines to be the first to benefit from the vaccine? Their example would have been no less convincing and perhaps more so.

One can only wonder why the media continue to allow themselves to be at Bibi’s beck and call and grant him endless photo ops. Many people have become so outraged by this that they turn off their televisions the moment he appears on the screen.

Those who did not turn of their TVs in disgust will have noticed that the doctor giving him the jab was not wearing a surgical gown or using surgical gloves. Bibi wasn’t even wearing a mask! If anyone needed convincing that this was a show, then the evidence would support that conclusion.

So maybe our prime minister went home knowing that he had been vaccinated. The rest of us will have to wait until the health service providers get their act together.

About the Author
Rabbi Boyden was educated and received his rabbinical ordination in London, England. Having served as the rabbi of Cheshire Reform Congregation for thirteen years, he made aliyah with his family in 1985. He has established Reform congregations in Ra'anana and Hod Hasharon and previously served as director of the Israel Reform Movement's Beit Din.
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