Magen David Adom

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MAGEN DAVID ADOM (mda , Hebrew "Red Shield of David"), Israel's emergency medical first aid society (equivalent to the Red Cross). Magen David Adom was founded in 1930 and was recognized by the government of Israel and by the Knesset (mda Knesset Law 1950/1970). It operates several major services: first aid, ambulance, and mobile intensive-care services; national blood bank services, including a fractionation institute for plasma by-products; and first aid instruction. The mda institutions include the mda executive committee, the mda council, and the mda conference. The conference is held every four years and deals with organizational activity and future goals. The council consists of 45 members and the executive committee consists of 12 members; both institutions are made up of mda members and public representatives named by various government bodies.

Magen David Adom operates in 11 geographical areas, running 95 first aid stations, with some 700 ambulances deployed in these stations and in ambulance posts in kibbutzim and settlements. In addition, there are operational at first aid stations – on alert and in reserve – some 50 mobile intensive care units, 22 mobile disaster units, and 18 blood mobiles. mda employed 1,500 workers in 2006, while its volunteer force numbered more than 5,000 in 1991 and 10,000 in 2006. mda National Blood Service is responsible for the collection, processing, examination, and distribution of blood units to hospitals all over Israel. The services include the national donor operation, the central blood bank, and the plasma processing institution, which were located inside Tel Hashomer hospital and employed 200 workers in 2005. The services collect about 280,000 blood units each year.

In time of war, Magen David Adom is part of Israel Civil Defense, more precisely, of the idf Home Front Command, and operates in close cooperation with the idf Medical Corps.

mda's budget for 1995 came to $33 million, covered by income from ambulance services, blood services, first aid and first aid equipment sales, and other internal sources as well as a government subsidy.

Its equipment and development budget for 1995 totaled some $7 million. This sum, raised for mda by its Friends societies in 15 countries, is earmarked for special development projects and purchase of lifesaving vehicles, medical equipment, etc. mda Friends societies are active in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, The Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Following worldwide efforts – supported by prominent statesmen in many countries – to have Magen David Adom in Israel admitted into the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, this finally occurred in 2006.

Notwithstanding the delay, over the years mda continued to cooperate with the International Red Cross and offer assistance to other countries afflicted by natural and other disasters.

Special relations on a bilateral basis are conducted by the mda with the American Red Cross, German Red Cross, The Netherlands Red Cross, Czech Red Cross, and Hungarian Red Cross.

In 1978 the American Red Cross issued a directive to all its national chapters to display the flag of mda at all functions and meetings at which other emblems of National Red Cross and National Red Crescent Societies are displayed.