The European Union has made a contribution of €13 million to the Palestinian Authority to support medical referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals. The funds will help these hospitals provide essential healthcare services to Palestinian patients from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. It will also assist the Palestinian Authority in meeting its financial obligations to these hospitals amid its ongoing severe fiscal crisis.
Since 2012, the European Union and its member states have provided regular financial contributions to support referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals, totalling more than €169 million euros. These hospitals are an essential part of the Palestinian healthcare system, providing specialized medical services that are not available elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza.
"This contribution demonstrates our strong commitment towards maintaining access to specialized medical services for all Palestinians. We commend the process of reforming the outside medical referrals system led by the Ministry of Health, and encourage further efforts towards a more efficient and equitable system. We remain committed to supporting medical referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals, which have served Palestinian citizens for more than 50 years. Preserving their work as well as their presence in East Jerusalem remains a priority for us”, said the European Union Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.
The EU contributes every year EUR 13 million to the cost of medical referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals as part of the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programme through which most of the European Union's assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channeled. Since 2012, the EU and Member States (Italy and Finland) have disbursed over EUR 169 million to cover partially the cost of outside medical referrals issued by the Palestinian Authority to East Jerusalem Hospitals.
The East Jerusalem Hospitals serve as the main centres for specialized care within the Palestinian health system. These hospitals are an integral part of the Palestinian healthcare system providing specialized services. Patients needing medical services that are not available in the West Bank and Gaza – such as specialist oncology, renal care and cardiac surgeries - are referred for treatment in the East Jerusalem Hospitals by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. There are six health institutions in 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.