Palestinian Authority payment eases Augusta Victoria Hospital’s finances

Posted on December 18, 2014 by ELCA News

Augusta Victoria Hospital, located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, has received “a substantial amount of receivables” from the Palestinian Authority, averting a financial crisis. According to The Lutheran World Federation, the payment was made in November after ongoing advocacy efforts. The funds will help cover unpaid bills for patients referred to the hospital by the Palestinian Authority.

The hospital is a program of The Lutheran World Federation, a global communion of 142 churches representing more than 70 million Christians in 79 countries. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the communion’s only member church from the United States.

Earlier in 2014, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, requested that the U.S. government allocate a portion of its bilateral support to the Palestinian Authority to pay its debt to Augusta Victoria Hospital. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Eaton wrote that the “debt arose from unpaid treatments in 2013 for patients referred by the Palestinian National Authority to Augusta Victoria Hospital.”

Eaton also noted that the ELCA continues to provide annual financial support to the hospital, which cared for nearly 28,000 inpatients and outpatients in 2012. The hospital’s specialized care centers offered more than 13,200 dialysis sessions, nearly 10,000 chemotherapy sessions and more than 14,000 interventions in the radiation oncology unit on an outpatient basis.

The hospital “is able to continue delivering its relevant specialized health services,” said the Rev. Martin Junge, general secretary of The Lutheran World Federation. “With the support of USAID and the European Union Nov. 17, 2014, the Palestinian Authority was able to pay outstanding patient bills” he said, adding that “while this payment covers a substantial amount of the due patient fees, all receivables are not fully paid.”​