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PA owes 2 East Jerusalem hospitals 240 million shekels in unpaid bills

Nov. 29, 2016 9:43 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 29, 2016 11:52 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Two major Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem have reported having serious financial difficulties, alleging that the Palestinian Authority (PA) owed them around 240 million shekels ($62,459,337). 

The al-Maqasid and Augusta Victoria hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem's Mount of Olives neighborhood -- which serve thousands of patients referred by the PA Ministry of Health from the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip -- released a joint statement on Monday saying that the PA owed the hospitals both a total of 240 million shekels in unpaid bills. 

"The hospitals are ready to accept installment payments from the PA in order to be able to pay back their debts to the companies who supply the hospitals with medicines and medical equipment, and to pay salaries among other accumulative debts,” the statement said. 

The statement warned that if the PA continued to delay payments, both hospitals would not be able to buy the medical equipment they urgently needed, and consequently would not be able to receive patients who needed surgeries starting on Tuesday.

In coordination with the hospitals’ employees unions, a protest was scheduled for Monday in front of offices of the Palestinian Ministry of Finance in Ramallah, but were postponed after the hospitals “received positive signs" from the ministry. 

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