President Sheikh Mohamed gave a grant of $25m to a hospital in East Jerusalem which saved it from shutting down.
A non-profit clinic operated by an Islamic charity, Al Makassed Hospital, struggled to pay wages and costs after the local government cut support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospital stopped taking non-emergency patients in April in 2022 as bills climbed. There was a lack of medicines that impacted patient care. Still, the timely grant from the United Arab Emirates will help it to persist in its services, stated Dr Adnan Farhous, general director of the hospital.
Established in 1968, the 250-bed hospital is one of the primary referral hospitals for the Palestinian community of Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank as well as the Gaza Strip. It offers specialist treatments like orthopaedics, cardiology, paediatric medicine and neurology.
Shutting down the hospital due to a financial crisis could have been a primary issue for the health sector in Palestine, but with the support of the UAE, the hospital won’t close its doors.
The general director of Al Makassed Hospital, Dr Adnan Farhoud, said that the hospital is the largest in Palestine but was suffering due to issues with the Palestinian government and the income was lessened by 60 to 70% after the government cut its support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2022, the hospital shut its doors to all non-emergency cases as staff members went on a strike due to late payment of salaries and lack of aid.
The union put an end to the strike after an agreement was signed with the Ministry of Finance to pay some of the hospital’s debts.
The agreement was to pay outstanding payments, including wages, but it didn’t meet the daily needs of the hospital.
Dr Farhoud said 70% of the patients were from Gaza Strip and West Bank.