In Palestine, we are supporting hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza
St Luke's Hospital, Nablus, West Bank
The church-run St Luke’s Hospital (pictured), in Nablus in the West Bank, is providing a vital health service to a local Palestinian community facing many hardships.
The hospital – founded by the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem – is in Nablus, which is halfway between Jerusalem and Nazareth, and one of the oldest Palestinian cities.
For several years, Nablus has been a conflict hotspot due to the ongoing policy of Israel to occupy Palestinian land.
On many occasions, hospital staff have found themselves working in difficult conditions following military incursions by the Israeli Army. On occasion, doctors have carried out surgery during power cuts or while guns were being fired outside.
However, the hospital does not discriminate. All patients are accepted, regardless of their nationality, religion or ability to pay. Furthermore, the hospital has a philosophy of providing holistic care, meaning it cares for patients’ emotional and spiritual needs, as well as providing physical treatment. Around a quarter of the hospital’s 100 staff are Christians.
The 60-bed hospital, which serves a community of 200,000, treats around 20,000 patients per year. The hospital also runs a mobile health team to reach those who struggle to travel to the hospital due to the difficulties of passing through Israeli security checkpoints.
Sometimes the hospital struggles to cover staff salaries because patients often cannot afford the minimum hospital fees.
In recent years, St Luke’s upgraded its neurosurgery department with a trauma centre, which is the only one in the northern area of the West Bank. The hospital has also completed renovations to expand its services and updated and extended its paediatric care unit.
The hospital is run by the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem and, like the diocese, it supports peace and reconciliation between faith groups. The aim of all of the diocese’s work is to show God’s love in action.
Al Ahli Hospital, Gaza: reaching out to war-hit communities
We started supporting Al Ahli Hospital in the aftermath of the 50-day conflict between Israel and Palestine in summer 2014.
The war may be over but the needs remain great.
The current political challenges and the ongoing Israeli siege has seen Israel blocking the movement of Palestinian people and goods within Palestinian Territory and across Israel/Palestine borders.
These restrictions seriously compromise the welfare of the Palestinian people and have resulted in loss of income, lack of food, and impeded access to healthcare.
Al Ahli Arab Hospital, an 80-bed in Gaza City, treats 3,500 out-patient visits and 400 in-patients per month.
It is located in a community where over 60 per cent of residents live in refugee camps and 70 per cent live below the poverty line, so a large number of patients – perhaps 6,000 a year – are treated for free.
Alongside conventional hospital services for in- and out-patients, the hospital runs mobile clinics, health education programmes for local community, and a physiotherapy service that sees more than 10,000 people a year.
According to the Diocese of Jerusalem website: ‘Electricity, medicines, food, fuel, and personnel are all restricted to some extent. However, Al Ahli Arab Hospital continues to provide some of the finest medical care available in the region…
‘The hospital offers to serve all who seek treatment without prejudice to any religious or ethnic community and irrespective of social class, gender and political affiliation. These services are delivered in a spirit of love and service.’