The EU and the government of Finland will provide €14 million to help East Jerusalem hospitals maintain critical medical services to the Palestinians, it has been anounced.
“Since 2012, the EU and its Member States have made available over €80 million to help relieve the financial burden facing the six hospitals of the East Jerusalem Hospitals network,” the EU office in Jerusalem said in a media statement. “This amount has helped to cover a substantial part of the costs of referral of Palestinian patients for medical treatment to East Jerusalem hospitals by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Thanks to this support, hospital facilities have remained open and continued providing essential care to thousands of patients from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
According to Deputy European Union Representative David Geer, East Jerusalem hospitals, as some of the last Palestinian-run institutions in Jerusalem, have particular significance. “These hospitals have served Palestinians for more than 50 years by providing quality specialised health care which is not accessible or available elsewhere in Palestine,” he explained.
“The EU remains a close and reliable partner to Palestinians,” added Geer. “We commend the efforts of the Ministry of Health to curb the trend of outside medical referrals, which has noticeably increased during the last decade and is fiscally unstainable. Continuous efforts to develop a system which is increasingly efficient and equitable should be maintained.”
There are six medical institutions in occupied East Jerusalem: Augusta Victoria Hospital, Makassed Hospital, St Joseph Hospital, St John’s Eye Hospital, Palestinian Red Crescent Maternity Hospital and Princess Basma Rehabilitation Centre. Between them they provide specialised medical services and procedures that are not available in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, such as specialist oncology, renal care and cardiac surgery.
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