Israeli hospitals will stop treating injured Syrian refugees due to budget deficit

The government has not provided the hospitals in northern Israel with the funds it pledged in order to ensure the continuation of the costly treatment of injured Syrian refugees, prompting the Israeli Health Ministry to threaten to stop the treatment.
A Syrian refugee in an Israeli hospital Photo Credit: Hana Bekal/Channel 2 News

Over the past five years, hospitals in northern Israel have treated hundreds of Syrians who sustained injuries due to the Syrian civil war. According to the hospitals, the cost of treating the Syrian refugees is estimated at tens of millions of shekels and has caused a major budget deficit. Due to this development, the Israeli Health Ministry is threatening to stop the costly treatment.

Director of the Israeli Health Ministry’s Division of Government Medical Centers Dr. Orly Weinstein sent a letter to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office demanding that the government transfer the funds that were promised to the northern Israel hospitals that are treating the injured Syrian refugees. “As you know, for the past four years, the government medical centers in the northern part of the country have been treating thousands of Syrian patients who were brought to them by the security forces,” read the letter.

“Most of these patients suffer from combat injuries, some of which are very complex and require significant surgical treatment,” Weinstein added. “These patients receive dedicated and professional care at the hospitals and this requires a significant amount of the hospitals’ resources.”

Weinstein stressed in the letter that while it is understood that there is a major humanitarian importance in treating the injured Syrian refugees, the hospitals cannot continue to bear this significant financial burden. “This is why I plan to inform the security forces that starting March 5 and until this issue is resolved, no more Syrian refugees will be transferred to the government hospitals unless the patient is in immediate mortal danger,” she stated.

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