The physical conditions in Theresienstadt were intolerable. With a population of 54,000, overcrowding led to the spread of epidemics. In all, 33,000 died within the ghetto itself, mostly from disease or starvation.
In 1942, the death was so high that the Germans built a crematorium capable of handling almost 200 bodies a day.
In order to deal with this serious situation for the Jews, the Council of Elders established a health department, within the ghetto. By the end of 1943, they had establish a hospital, resulting in reducing the mortality rate.