East Jerusalem Hospitals Network aims to improve the health system in Jerusalem

Jerusalem- (8 Dec 2015) –The East Jerusalem Hospitals Network (EJHN) announced during its 4th annual conference in Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center plans to improve the entire health eco system in the city of Jerusalem. The conference 2015 was held under the title “Challenges & Achievements” tackled the major issues facing Hospitals in Jerusalem, most notably relating to financial sustainability, increasing political encroachments on health services  and new ideas needed to enhance the quality of health services.

Participants at the conference expressed avid concern regarding Israeli’s constant raids to hospitals in Jerusalem and their continuous violations of human rights risking the safety of patients. They also stressed the importance of integration between hospitals and medical centers in the city, to enable them to stand against these assaults and to place Jerusalem’s health system onto a sustainable and comprehensive system of medical care.

The conference brought together “EJHN” hospitals doctors and other international and local medical partners who are committed towards the improvement of the health sector in Jerusalem, enhancing socio-economic conditions for Palestinian citizens in Jerusalem. Adnan Husseini, the Governor of Jerusalem, represented Palestinian officialdom while Mr Ralph Tarraf, European Union Representative represented the EU countries, a main supporter of the health system in Jerusalem. The ministry of Health were represented by Abd Al-Rahim Swisa the Ministry of Health Representative and General Manager of West Bank’s Hospitals, in addition to Ameera Al-Hindi; Director of the Medical Referral Department.

“The provision of quality and accessible health care is a major challenge that we are facing, nonetheless, hospitals of Jerusalem have shown  great improvements; an integrated role between the Governorate of Jerusalem and Medical Institutions have made the choice to act and implement the most-far reaching structural reforms”, Adnan Al-Husseini assured the audience.

The conference discussed further ways to enhance the Hospitals’ network and connection between members in order to enable it to generate additional insights into optimal service capabilities to meet increasing patients’ needs. Various calls for diversification in funding and income resources were emphasized as necessary in order for the hospitals network remain viable and operational in order to continue to provide the best medical services for all patients of the Jerusalem vicinity, the West Bank and Gaza.

Stressing the same context, Abdel Qader Husseini, chairman of “EJHN”, alluded that the Network is working on developing strategies and implementing reforms to improve funding, governance and the entire health services regime in Jerusalem to place the health system in Jerusalem on sustainable long-term track.

In turn, Mr. Taraff assured the audience that the European Union will continue its support to the health sector in Jerusalemin order to deliver concrete benefit for the Palestinian community as a whole. He added that the EU is committed to improve the fiscal situation of the hospitals. “We encourage the management, employees and all stakeholders to cooperate together and continue their efforts in parallel to those of the PA to guarantee a sustained self-improving health sector foundation for the future”.

In conclusion the conference, stressed on the vitality of increasing national investment in the health sector and in Jerusalem’s hospitals and medic workforce in order to deliver better care and better access to services for patients.

Background to the Editor:

The 4th annual conference was organized with the support of the Jerusalem Governorate, Ramco and Intermed Pal, and the support of Bank of Palestine, Birzeit Pharmaceutical Company and Technoline.

The EJHN includes six main medical facilities in Jerusalem: Princess Basma Rehabilitation Center, August Victoria Hospital, Maqassed Hospital, St. John Eye Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society Hospital. The East Jerusalem Hospitals are in essence the main referral 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.