If the annual
hospitalization budget is $12 million, why does UNRWA contribute 50-60% and pay
30% of it in dollars and the rest at the exchange rate for 1515 L.L?
Why not provide health
monitors on its work?
Curtailing measures on services of the agency
UNRWA sustains primary health,
maternal and child care for the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, yet it has been
influenced by the alleged financial crisis. Such effect was manifested through
An evident decline in the number of staff,
doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians and others.
A significant scarcity in chronic diseases
medications and replacing them by other substitutes which often don’t suit
certain patients who are then forced to buy them on their own expenses.
How were the health services affected by the
economic crisis that afflicted Lebanon?
Absence of private hospitals for UNRWA, and instead making
contracts with many Lebanese private and public hospitals in order to provide
hospitalization services, surgeries, treatment of cancer patients and various
epidemics, and others.
Due to the economic crisis in Lebanon, hospitalization
expenses increased after the Lebanese government has lifted the financial
support on most medicines and medical supplies, in addition to the increase in
price of fuel consumed by hospitals.
The high expenses of surgeries and cancer patients,
and of medical supplies, such as platinum skewers for bone fractures and the
installation of joints and others, have rendered most of the Palestinian
refugees unable to cover the differences in hospital bills.
What is the nature of
contracts between UNRWA and private hospitals in light of the crisis?
annual budget for hospitalization in Lebanon is $12 million allocated to cover
fully the expenses of medication.
salaries to its contracted employees in all sectors in US dollars.
the health services sector, the annual contracts that the UNRWA made with most
hospitals cover between 50 and 60% of the costs of hospitalization for
patients, and it pays only 30% of the cost of these contracts in fresh dollar.
The remaining costs are supplemented according to the official
dollar exchange rate in Lebanon (1515 Lebanese pounds), though it is an
international institution, and all of its resources are in US dollars.
Explicit exploitation of
Palestinian patients in private hospitals with the absence of censorship
UNRWA's unclear contracting
policy with private hospitals makes the latter take advantage of Palestinian
patients who are transferred to, in terms of the following:
Forcing people to pay extra expenses in the
pretext of holding them responsibility for the patient’s health condition if
Additional financial burdens on patients for
the use of medicines that are neither on the lists of the Lebanese Ministry of
Health nor approved by the World Health Organization. UNRWA only pays 30% of
its costs, in addition to its contribution of only 30% and a maximum value of
only $500 of the cost of medical supplies.
The lack of adequate health monitors from the
Health Department, to follow up the services provided to the patient, and to
ensure hospitals' commitment to implementing the terms of these contracts.
Exploitation of UNRWA's financial resources while
exaggerating in the services provided (which may be unrealistic) and thus
inflating the bills, which put the patient on heavy financial burdens.
UNRWA refuses to cover 50% of the costs of
medicine brought from outside Lebanon, as many patients had to do so and thus
extra financial charges.
As for this reality, the Palestinian
Association for Human Rights (Witness) calls for UNRWA to set a lucid
hospitalization policy that encompasses the following:
UNRWA’s adherence to disburse the amount allocated to the health sector without
additional burdens that are to be paid by the Palestinian refugees.
of a health guide showing the services that must be provided and the right of
the Palestinian patient to hospitals.
monitors sufficiently for all areas of the hospitals contracted with UNRWA.
the process of communication between health supervisors in the regions with
patients and institutions specialized in this regard.
Beirut in 3/6/2022
Palestinian Association for