Arab hospital stops receiving patients over lack of PA funding

Jerusalem area hospital runs out of medicine after PA fails to pay millions of dollars in promised funding, closes doors to new patients.

Gary Willig ,

Empty hospital (illustrative)
Empty hospital (illustrative)

An Arab hospital in Jerusalem has been forced to stop receiving patients after the Palestinian Authority failed to pay tens of millions of shekels it needs to purchase new medicine, the Safa Arab news agency reported.

The Augusta Victoria Hospital announced in a press release Sunday that it could no longer accept new patients, especially new patients who need expensive chemical treatments, because its medicine stores had run out and there was no money to replace them.

The hospital requires 23 million shekels ($6.4M) in order to purchase the medicines it needs to begin functioning again.

The hospital explained that the reason for the shortfall is the failure of the Palestinian Authority to provide the funding it owes the hospital.

Th debt the PA owes the hospital stood at approximately 150 million shekels ($42 million) as of April, 2017, and has been increasing at a rate of $4 million each month.

"The problem lies with the Ministry of Finance," said the director general of the hospital, Walid Nemo, adding that the hospital has not received any payments in at least five months.

He said that the hospital usually receives between 700-800 patients from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza per day.

The PA continues to pay an estimated $10 million each month to terrorists in Israeli prisons and a further $15 million a month to the families of terrorists who have carried out attacks against Israelis. The PA has refused to consider stopping the payments to terrorists in order to divert funds to other places, like the Augusta Victoria Hospital.