Jerusalem, 25 March 2013 – The East Jerusalem hospitals are facing major cash flow problems as a result of accrued debt from the Palestinian Authority (PA) for specialized patient care, totaling NIS 111.718 million as of 28 February 2013. The PA’s debt to the East Jerusalem hospitals has persisted over the last year as donor support to the PA has decreased. The debt has resulted in major delays in staff compensation and supplier remuneration.
The East Jerusalem Hospitals Network (EJHN) includes six facilities: Princess Basma Rehabilitation Centre, Augusta Victoria Hospital, Maqassed Hospital, St. John Eye Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society Hospital. These serve as the main centres 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 EJHN facilities by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
In 2012, a total of 25 381 West Bank and Gaza patients were referred by the Ministry of Health to East Jerusalem, representing over 45% of all Ministry of Health referrals, and more than half of the EJHN case-load.
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Jerusalem 5 March 2013 – The WHO occupied Palestinian territory office has released a report that details the difficulties that thousands of Palestinian patients encounter in obtaining Israeli permits to access specialized health care in East Jerusalem, Jordan and Israel. Restrictions also affect access for ambulances and health personnel from the West Bank to the East Jerusalem hospitals.
The study used available data from Palestinian Authority ministries and non-profit health providers to quantify and describe how Israeli movement restrictions in the West Bank and Gaza reduce access to health services for Palestinian patients and health providers, especially to East Jerusalem where the main Palestinian referral centres are located.
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