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The EU has made a contribution of €14.9 million to the Palestinian Authority payment of medical referrals to East Jerusalem Hospitals. This contribution is funded by the EU (€13 million), the Government of Italy (€1 million) and the Government of Finland (€0.9 million). This contribution supports East Jerusalem Hospitals in maintaining critical medical services to Palestinians.
The EU supports the Palestinian Authority since 2012 with regular contributions to the payment of referrals to East Jerusalem Hospitals that have reached over €110 million since then. The hospitals are an integral part of the Palestinian healthcare system providing specialized services that cannot be found elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza.
"The Palestinian Authority is facing a serious fiscal crisis that is affecting its ability to deliver services to the Palestinian people. This new joint European contribution will support the Palestinian Authority to meet its obligations towards the East Jerusalem Hospitals and ultimately ensure the continuation of essential health services to the Palestinian patients. The East Jerusalem Hospitals are providing quality specialized health services hardly available elsewhere in Palestine. They are also among the last Palestinian institutions that are still operational in East Jerusalem. Their work should be supported and maintained ", said the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf.
“The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation is proud to continue its contribution to the PEGASE Program, with a current allocation of 3 MLN EURO for the years 2019 -2021. This contribution is in the framework of the Italian support to the Palestinian Health system, in order to strengthen and increase its ability to provide quality services and to achieve the universal coverage for everybody” stated Ms. Cristina Natoli, Head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Jerusalem.
Most of the European Union's assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan and the subsequent Palestinian national plans and agendas. As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood. Since February 2008, over €2.5 billion have been disbursed through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA and a wide range of cooperation projects.
The East Jerusalem Hospitals serve as the main centres for specialized care within the Palestinian health system. Patients needing services and procedures that are not available in the West Bank and Gaza – such as specialist oncology, renal care and cardiac surgeries - are referred for treatment in the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network facilities by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. There are six health institutions in East Jerusalem: Augusta Victoria Hospital, Makassed Hospital, St Joseph Hospital, St John's Eye Hospital, Palestinian Red Crescent Maternity Hospital and Princess Basma Rehabilitation Centre.