Makassed Islamic Charitable Society Hospital in Jerusalem is suffering from a financial crisis that could lead to its closure at any moment due to the Palestinian National Authority’s accumulation of debts, which has exceeded 100 million shekels, the hospital’s administration confirmed to Watan News.
Makassed CEO Dr. Rafiq Husseini told the agency that “our existence depends on the continuous and regular money transfer by the PNA, and if these transfers cease, our work will come to an end and thus we will have to close down Makassed and hand over the keys.”
He added that “Makassed and all other Palestinian hospitals in Jerusalem are working under very difficult and complex conditions, and under an occupation that does not want to see one Palestinian remain on Jerusalem land.”
According to Dr. Husseini, the crisis lies in the Hospital’s inability to pay salaries, buy drugs and medicines, and pay Israeli taxes such as the “excise tax.”
“What is urgently needed is to reimburse some but not all of the debts so that we can rapidly solve the immediate and urgent problems”, Dr. Husseini noted, adding: “The debt is increasing monthly and may reach more than 120 million shekels by the end of May due to the continuous flow of patients with difficult and complex cases through medical referrals”.
He stressed that “Makassed has been appealing for years to solve this situation, while promises have been made yet they have not been fulfilled and the response is slow,” calling for the need to resolve the current crisis as soon as possible.
It is worth noting that the PNA’s total accumulated debt in favor of Jerusalem’s hospitals exceeds 250 million shekels, consisting mostly of medical referrals. Of these 250 million, 150 million shekels are debts in favor of Augusta Victoria Hospital, which refused recently to receive referral patients due to the aggravation of its financial crisis, thus urging the Palestinian government to act by announcing its willingness to solve the crisis through the reimbursement of some of the debts. However the financial crisis at Makassed continues.
According to many, the collapse of Jerusalem’s hospitals is in the interest of and a gain for the occupation, which seeks to destroy and Judaize the city’s institutions.