Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem Needs Urgent Financial Assistance

Karin Brown

Call for critical financial support for Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem to avoid interruption of essential health care.

Click here to contact your representative and senators.

Augusta Victoria Hospital, operated by the Lutheran World Federation in East Jerusalem, continues to provide life-saving health care to Palestinians but is facing a critical financial situation. The essential medical services provided by the hospital are currently threatened by a financial crisis caused by the non-payment of fees for patients that are referred to the hospital by the Palestinian Authority. The debt is now EUR 18 million.

Augusta Victoria Hospital is managed efficiently and effectively. It operates in the black and, had all fees been paid by the Palestinian Authority, the hospital would be able to meet all of its current financial obligations.

In an interview Dr. Tawfiq A. Nasser, chief executive officer of the hospital, said, "It is frustrating for us to be running a very successful hospital serving tens of thousands of patients only to be hindered by external factors beyond our control that are negatively affecting the wellbeing of our patients. The lives of our patients are held hostage to the political economy of the region that is beyond the control of anyone at the hospital. We appeal to anyone who can make a difference to put politics and bureaucracy aside, think of the lives of these poor cancer patients who can only be treated at Augusta Victoria Hospital, and rush to help in any way they can. It is the right thing to do. It is the human thing to do."

Augusta Victoria Hospital provides life-saving health care to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, including specialized treatment offered at its cancer, diabetes and pediatric centers. The hospital is widely acknowledged in governmental and church circles for its excellent treatment and care and is internationally accredited.

Augusta Victoria Hospital is the first and only hospital to provide radiation therapy for cancer patients in the Palestinian territories and is the only medical facility in the West Bank offering pediatric kidney dialysis. The accumulating debt will cause a humanitarian crisis that will punish the most vulnerable in society, those who depend vitally on the hospital's medical care.

In 2012, Augusta Victoria Hospital cared for nearly 28,000 inpatients and outpatients. Its specialized care centers offered more than 13,200 dialysis sessions, nearly 10,000 chemotherapy sessions, and over 14,000 interventions in the radiation oncology unit on an outpatient basis.

In order to prevent a catastrophic interruption to these critical health services the U.S. government needs to step in and help find a solution to this financial and humanitarian crisis.

See ELCA Press Release and LWF Press Release for more information.

 Click here to contact your representative and senators.

Ask them to:

  • Contact Secretary of State John Kerry and USAID and ask for the U.S. government to help find a solution that will enable the Palestinian Authority to honor its financial commitments to humanitarian institutions such as Augusta Victoria Hospital.
  • Ask Secretary of State John Kerry to recognize the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding and to respond immediately by providing funding to the Palestinian Authority that is restricted to paying down the debt to Augusta Victoria Hospital. This earmarked funding for Augusta Victoria Hospital will help to insure that there is no interruption to patient services.