Agreement reached concerning AVH cash-flow crisis
PA commits to monthly payments for treatment and reducing incurred debt
(LWI) - Encouraging news for patients at the Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) in East Jerusalem: After the recent cash flow crisis, an agreement was reached with the Palestinian Authority (PA), guaranteeing regular monthly payments of NIS 18 million (4.7 million EUR) for services rendered by the hospital. The payments will enable the hospital to buy medicine and continue treating patients.
The PA also committed itself to reduce its total debt to the AVH over the next 12 months, beginning with an initial payment of NIS 45 million (11.7 million EUR). The financial situation of the AVH continues to be critical until the debt has been paid in full.
The financial situation made headlines in October, when the Board of the hospital issued a public statement about the cash-flow crisis. At that point the hospital was unable to accept new patients because the hospital could not buy required medication for chemotherapy.
Visiting the AVH earlier this week, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge said: “Our main concern are the Palestinian people to whom AVH provides life-saving hospital care. As long as the AVH is a priority of the PA it remains a priority for the LWF. “
Our main concern are the Palestinian people to whom AVH provides life-saving hospital care.
Junge also expressed his appreciation for the “overwhelming community support for AVH,” as shown by the donations of individuals. Following the news of patients being turned away, people in East Jerusalem organized a collection which yielded several hundred thousand EUR to enable the hospital to buy medication for cancer patients.
The LWF issued the following update on the financial situation of AVH on 14 November 2019.
Update on the financial situation of the Augusta Victoria Hospital
Geneva 14 November 2019
At the end of October, the Board of the Augusta Victoria Hospital issued a public statement about the acute cash crisis in the AVH. The crisis arose due to months of non-payment of patient fees by the Palestinian Authority (PA), amounting to 45 million EUR. This has put the hospital in an unsustainable position and has created a risk for its patients – children, women and men – and their right to quality health services.
The situation continues to be critical.
An initial payment of NIS 45 million (EUR 11,8 million) was made by the PA in October to address the acute shortage of cash, resulting in inability to purchase cancer medication.
On Wednesday 30 October, an agreement was reached between the LWF/AVH and the PA that guarantees regular, monthly payments for ongoing operations, as well as periodical, lump-sum payments to reduce the total debt over the next 12 months.
From November 2019, the PA has committed to monthly payments of NIS 18 million (EUR 4,7 million) for the ongoing treatment of patients. This level of payment is necessary to avoid further increases in the total debt of the PA towards LWF/AVH. From December 2019, the PA will make larger, lump-sum payments on a quarterly basis, to gradually reduce its overall debt to below NIS 100 million (EUR 26 million) by 31 October 2020.
Strong community support
In the last two weeks, donations equaling NIS 3.5 million (EUR 919,000) have been made by the Palestinian public to support the AVH. These donations will be used to provide chemotherapy treatment to cancer patients. Such contributions from individuals help support patients currently undergoing treatment. They also show clearly how deeply Palestinians care for the AVH and the services provided at the hospital.
At the same time, it must be underlined that the ongoing operations and financial sustainability of the hospital depend on the PA honoring its commitment and the 30 October agreement. Otherwise, the AVH will not be able to maintain the quality care it provides to its patients. Any delay in payments will lead to reductions in treatment for cancer patients.
Augusta Victoria Hospital is a center of medical excellence in East Jerusalem, serving all 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. It offers specialized care not available in other hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza, including radiation therapy for cancer patients and pediatric hemodialysis. Augusta Victoria Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission International for its outstanding quality. Patients are referred to the AVH by the Palestinian Authority.