Over the last few years, Israeli clowns have been popping into hospital operating rooms and intensive care units with balloons and kazoos in hand, teaming up with doctors to develop laughter therapies they say help with disorders like pain. Medical clowning, which combines theatre performance with drama therapy and elements of nursing, has grown in popularity in recent years to become a worldwide phenomenon. Israel has a vision of creating a global model for Clowning Therapy and has kick started this goal with a BA program in Clowning Therapy at Haifa University that is currently expanding into an MA program as well. Two years ago, Israel's Dream Doctors medical clowns project hosted an international congress of medical clowning associations to share the theories and practices of this unusual approach. At least 200 medical clowns from North America, Australia, Portugal, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and France attended this groundbreaking congress.
The project is also reaching out to third-world countries. In January 2010, they contributed to the humanitarian mission to hospitals and orphanages in Haiti following the earthquake and since then, they have traveled to various parts of Africa, South America, India and to Nepal.
Israel is now considered a leader in professionalizing the field of medical clowning and providing scientific evidence for its effectiveness. One study conducted around the world showed that children treated with medical clowning recovered up to 30% faster. Other studies have demonstrated that medical clowning programs can significantly reduce the pain and fears suffered by patients in hospitals.
David Barashi, one of the founding members of the Dream Doctors medical clowns project that was established in 2002 in Israel was in Singapore to conduct a 3 day workshop for medical staff from the Children's Cancer Foundation and the National University Hospital Singapore.
While he was in town, David aka Dush the Clown was only featured on various media platforms including 938LIVE's Body & Soul, CNA'S AM LIVE, SG Connect and Singapore Tonight.