Urgent Appeal - Financial Distress at the East Jerusalem Hospitals
Jerusalem – 21 September 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The East Jerusalem Hospitals (EJHs) are facing an unprecedented financial crisis as a result of accrued debt from the Palestinian Authority (PA) for patient care, totaling NIS 67.581 million as of July 31, 2012. In order to maintain their operations, several of the hospitals are reviewing running costs including staff levels, to find areas for reductions. Some hospitals have already taken extraordinary measures such as releasing staff, reducing number of admissions and curtailing services.
The East Jerusalem Hospitals Network (EJHN) includes six facilities --- Princess Basma Rehabilitation Center, Augusta Victoria Hospital, Maqassed Hospital, St. John Eye Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society Hospital --- which serve as the main centers for specialized care within the Palestinian health system. Patients needing services and procedures that are not available in the West Bank and Gaza are referred for treatment in the EJHN facilities by the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH).
The EJHN has played a critical role in providing health services to the Palestinian people for decades, especially for the poor. In addition to patients referred by the MOH, 20% of the patients who access care at the EJHs are social cases without insurance or sufficient resources.
In 2011, over 22,000 West Bank and Gaza patients were referred by MoH to East Jerusalem, representing almost 40% of all MoH referrals, and more than half of the EJHN caseload.
There is growing concern that the vital services provided by the hospitals could be jeopardized if financial assistance is not provided soon and the debts continue to escalate.
The EJHN and its six facilities have been supported by the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the last four years for quality improvement and institutional development. The achievements of this programme will also be threatened if the financial crisis continues.
The EJHN is seeking urgent financial assistance to sustain the services of the six hospitals. It is calling on donors to support the PA to meet its obligation towards the EJHs - and requesting that funds be donated directly to the PA to be used specifically for paying down their debts to the EJHs.
Contact: WHO –Ms. Aisha Mansour, 02-540-0595