Cooperation and coordination in the health field continue: The Health Coordinator at the Civil Administration coordinated the visit by Palestinian Minister of Health at hospitals in Israel. As part of the visit, the Minister met with Palestinian children treated at Israeli hospitals, received medical reports on their condition and even gave presents.

 "Medicine is the bridge to peace"


Copyright: COGAT

(Communicated by the Office of Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories)

On Sunday, May 5, the Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. Hanny Abadin, visited the pediatric departments at Hadassah Ein Karem and Tel Hashomer Hospitals, along with other senior officials from the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Authority. The entire visit was accompanied by the Health Coordinator at the Civil Administration, Mrs. Dalia Basa, who is responsible, among other matters, for coordination and liaison on health and medical evacuation matters. The purpose of the visit was expansion of medical cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian health systems.

The Minister of Health met with the management of the hospitals and then continued to patient rooms in order to visit and give presents to children. Many Palestinian patients receive medical treatment at Israeli hospitals, with the coordination and approval of the Judea and Samaria Civil Administration, as the Palestinian health system is still undergoing development and sometimes cannot provide certain treatments in the PA areas. Therefore, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (through the Civil Administration) ensures that these patients receive quality medical care.

In addition to coordination of treatment for Palestinian patients in Israel, the Civil Administration promotes the development of the Palestinian health system. There are multiple programs taking place for training physicians, nurses and technicians at Israeli hospitals, so that they can return to their hospitals with greater knowledge and thus bring about immediate improvement of the Palestinian health system. At Hadassah Hospital there are 60 Palestinian interns each year who then return to Palestinian hospitals and contribute to the improvement of the Palestinian health system. Technicians and nurses from the Bet Jala Hospital are also being trained to establish a cancer treatment department.  A cancer treatment department also was founded at the Augusta Victoria Hospital.

"The Palestinian Authority is our closest neighbor and thus Israel is committed to assisting as much as possible, especially in the health field", explained the Health Coordinator at the Civil Administration, Mrs. Dalia Basa. "The importance of coordination is that residents receive good medical care that is not always available in the Authority areas and this saves great sums, since the treatment are of high quality, efficient and do not require repeated treatment."

Palestinian Health Minister Abadin expressed thanks for the treatment of Palestinian patients at Israeli hospitals, but hopes that the cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israeli hospitals and Civil Administration would continue, so that the Palestinian health system will continue to develop and the number of Palestinian patients receiving care in Israel instead of the West Bank is reduced. "We will be happy when our our own hospitals can provide the same treatment as in Israel," explained the Palestinian Minister of Health, Dr. Hanny Abadin. "We need to continue cooperation in order to educate the next generation of Palestinian nurses and physicians so that they may return to hospitals in the Authority areas and develop our health system."

When the Palestinian Minister of Health, the Manager of Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital, Dr. Yuval Weiss, and the Director of the Pediatric Hospital at Tel Hashomer, Prof. Asher Barzilay, were asked about the importance of cooperation between hospitals in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, all three used an expression often heard during the visit yesterday: "Medicine is the bridge to peace."

"Hadassah promotes cooperation with our Palestinian neighbors. Medicine is the bridge to peace and there are no limits when medical care is concerned," declared Dr. Yuval Weiss, the Manager of Hadassah Ein Karem Hospital. "I also wish to greet Dalia Basa and thank her; she fights for every Palestinian patient who needs to come to hospitals in Israel."