ICSPR Calls Upon the Palestinian Government to End the Debt Crisis of Almtala Hospital
The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (ICSPR) follows with deep concern the crisis of the Almtala Hospital in Jerusalem, which stopped receiving patients from Gaza because of the Palestinian Health Ministry (PHM) debt.
According to available information, patients from the Gaza Strip who are referred to Almtala Hospital on Saturday, 21 October, 2017 got calls from the hospital administration demanding them not to come to their appointments. The appointments were booked in advance. The hospital administration attributed this to the PHM and the failure of the Ministry of Finance to repay the debt which is 122 million NIS. Despite the agreement to pay the debt, the Ministry of Finance did not meet this obligation, which threatens the hospital’s ability to continue providing their services especially to cancer patients. This problem prevents medical services to reach cancer patients who could not afford the treatment delay whether on the health level or the finance level.
The hospital is the only Palestinian hospital provides radiation services to cancer patients, advanced services and pediatric dialysis for children. The hospital services are provided to Gaza and West Bank patients which coast about 15 million NIS per month, 7Million NIS goes to cancer patients. According to the PHM, Almtala hospital is ranked as the first in term of the number of patients referred to get treatment. The number of patients transferred is about 1000 patients per month, 300 from Gaza and 700 form the West Bank.
ICSPR warns of the continuation of this crisis on the lives of the Palestinian patients who received their specialized treatment in Almtala hospital. ICSPR considers the patients’ treatment is the Palestinian Authority obligations and duties according to the international agreements, which guarantees the best health services. ICSPR calls upon the Palestinian government to end the debt crisis which contributes in the hospital work to provide good health services to protect the people lives and support the steadfastness of the Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem.