Champion for all women

Cutting-edge Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Dr. Hayley Jacobson brought her innovative approach and dedication to all women to the wards of the Laniado Hospital

By Chandrea Serebro

Treating patients from all walks of life from puberty to menopause and everything in between, Dr. Hayley Jacobson, with her cutting-edge approach, is a champion for all women. And working for the Laniado Hospital since making Aliyah in 2019 fits the bill. Founded by Rabbi Y. Halberstam, The Klausenberg Rebbe, who was a Holocaust survivor, the hospital exists on the tenet of the vow he made that if he survived the Holocaust, he would build a hospital to treat all people, where no one would ever be turned away.

Hayley is doing her part to make this true too, from guiding expectant moms through the miracle of pregnancy to addressing any gynaecological concerns, she finds the “breadth” of her practice “deeply fulfilling”.

She is no stranger to innovative approaches and all-encompassing care, having learned very quickly at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg (a.k.a Bara) to navigate the corridors of a bustling hospital despite the challenges that crop up daily. “The challenges I faced at Bara, including shortages of equipment and staff, ultimately shaped my growth as a doctor. The constant pressure pushed me to develop better skills, resourcefulness, and adaptability in delivering quality care despite constraints.”

One unique aspect of Hayley’s career involved contributing to the establishment of an innovative unit at Bara that utilised focused ultrasound to treat benign uterine tumors without invasive incisions. “This groundbreaking approach marked a significant chapter in my professional journey,” says Hayley, and the personal reward she gained from it will be used as the impetus for further innovations and above all, growth, in her career going forward.

Maternity care in Israel emphasises personalised and empowering experiences for mothers, offering various birthing options and holistic approaches. “The emotional depth of birthing experiences in Israel, from transformed labor rooms to shared singing and prayer, adds a unique dimension to my profession. Despite the occasional difficulty and stress, witnessing the strength and resilience of the women I work with is a constant source of inspiration.”

Before making Aliyah, Hayley worked with a Telfed-recommended Israeli lawyer specialising in medical degree conversion, to navigate the intricate process. Notarising, translating, and submitting documents took several months, finally making her eligible for a three-month clinical observation period (histaklut) upon arrival in Israel. “When we arrived, Telfed helped us figure out the nitty-gritty of Israeli life. Telfed played a crucial role in easing our integration into Israeli life, assisting with paperwork, healthcare providers, and connecting us with the right resources. Then, completing my histaklut at Laniado Hospital marked the beginning of my work in the labour ward and ultrasound unit, and I haven’t looked back.”

“What keeps me going is the impact I make—helping people build their families and providing support during challenging times. Working in Israel has been one of the most enriching decisions of my life.” Hayley’s advice to fellow professionals considering this leap is to embrace the unknown with an open heart and yes – to start learning Hebrew before making the move. Each challenge is a stepping stone toward personal and professional growth in the vibrant landscape of Israeli obstetrics and gynaecology.