Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) and the other members of the East
Jerusalem Hospitals Network (EJHN) continue to need our help to be able to
continue their life-saving health care ministries in the Holy Land. AVH is
owned and operated by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and supported by the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and several other member churches
of the LWF.
AVH, which provides high-quality health
services to the five million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza,
faces an acute liquidity crisis as a result of
the continued failure of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay the bills for
the patients it has referred to AVH. The situation is exacerbated by U.S.
cuts in funding to the Palestinians for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. Together, European
Union and U.S. funding has been covering about half of the costs of patients
referred to the EJHN by the PA. AVH provides a wide range of health care
services, but its specialties include radiation therapy for cancer patients and
pediatric kidney dialysis. More extensive background information is available here.
AVH is not able to make minimum payments to pharmaceutical
suppliers of cancer medication and is currently running out of vital medication
to treat its patients.
PA monthly payments have covered only a portion of the PA debts to
the hospitals. As of July 31, 2019, the debt of the PA toward AVH alone amounts
to nearly $40 million for the treatment of patients referred to AVH by the PA. The
result is that AVH has accumulated a level of receivables that is unsustainable
and that it cannot continue to accept.
Though the U.S. Congress has approved $25 million for fiscal years
2017 and 2018 to help cover the bills of the East Jerusalem hospitals, none of
it has been released by the Trump Administration, which makes it increasingly difficult
for the hospitals to pay pharmaceutical suppliers for cancer medications, pay
staff and avoid further interruption of patient treatment.
It is therefore critical that:
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