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Jerusalem hospital at risk of closure

June 10, 2014 11:28 P.M. (Updated: June 13, 2014 11:59 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A major East Jerusalem hospital is at risk of closure due to crippling financial difficulties blamed on the lack of adequate support by the Palestinian Authority, says director.

Employees haven’t received their monthly wages for three months, Dr Rafiq al-Husseini, the director of al-Maqasid Hospital in the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, told Ma’an on Tuesday.

He added that the hospital suffers from a serious shortage in medicines and medical equipment.

“Our message is clear: the Palestinian Authority must support Jerusalem and its institutions. The PA ministries of health and finance must provide support to this hospital and all other hospitals in the city.”

Palestinian ministers, added Al-Husseini, have recently made promises to the administration of al-Maqasid, but since then the financial crisis has been aggravating.

Husseini confirmed that if nothing is done before the month of Ramadan (end of June), employees will not get their salaries and suppliers of equipment do not get their money.

“We are headed to a collapse,” he said.

The United States was supposed to pay al-Maqasid a grant of $38 million, but it was cancelled due to the political crisis after peace talks came to a stalemate, according to Husseini.

The deputy secretary of the union of employees said employees have not been paid regularly since November 2013. He confirmed that if a solution to the crisis isn’t found, the hospital will not accept any patient after June 17.

Iyad Sayyid Ahmad highlighted that the PA’s ministry of health owes al-Maqasid Hospital $50 million. The ministry, he said, told the administration that it can’t pay any of these debts under the current conditions.

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