Daily Israel Report

Jerusalem Hospital Blames PA for Potential Closure

East Jerusalem hospital that is at risk of being shut down is blaming Palestinian Authority for not paying for patients' medical treatment.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/30/2012, 7:26 PM

Arab hospital
Arab hospital
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A hospital in eastern Jerusalem hospital is at risk of being shut down due to financial difficulties, which it blames on the Palestinian Authority, according to a statement released Sunday.


The hospital administration and employees union is accusing the Palestinian Authority of failing to pay for patients’ medical treatment, which is leading to a large financial deficit in the hospital budget.

"Al-Maqasid Hospital is supposedly the main recipient of patients referred by the PA ministry of health from the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip," said the statement.

"However, the ministry has failed to pay for the cases referred and as a result the hospital ran into huge debts. We had to borrow tens of millions from local banks and pay interest, and since we couldn't pay it back, banks are refusing to give us loans anymore," it added.

The statement was signed by Dr Arafat al-Hidmi, head of Al-Maqasid charitable society, Dr Bassam Abu Libdah, director of the hospital, and Dr Ali al-Husseini, secretary of the union of employees.

Al-Maqasid hospital on the Mount of Olives was established in 1968 to receive Arab patients living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza as an economical alternative to Israeli hospitals, Ma’an news agency reported.

The hospital largely caters to patients from low-income families and is the only 24-hour emergency department in East Jerusalem, according to the news agency.