Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who Says the Israelis Don't Treat Sick Palestinians?

Foreign media frequently reports that the Israeli government routinely denies Palestinians access to quality healthcare. The facts are that a growing number of Palestinians are being personally chauffeured to life-saving medical appointments in Israel by volunteer Israeli drivers.

It took more than half of her young life for doctors to diagnose two-year-old Aya Aiid Abo-Mois's chronic kidney disease. Today, it's the dialysis she receives four times a week at an Israeli hospital that keeps her alive says a report from Israel 21C

In the Palestinian Authority city of Jenin in the West Bank where she lives there are no adequate facilities to treat her rare condition. Aya has been receiving treatment at an Israeli hospital ever since she was rushed to Jerusalem suffering from kidney failure earlier this year.

Her physician states that "It's never happened that the authorities didn't let her though," and continues that “Aya receives the same medical treatment as any Israeli citizen”.

This is just one story of many about how Israelis and Palestinians are working together to ensure that children in the PA have access to healthcare in Israel when necessary. The Palestinian Authority and private donors foot the bill.

For the full story, read

It takes a network of volunteers from the PA and Israel to make sure that Aya and her mom Sahir have the necessary permits to travel from Jenin. A driver from among the volunteer coordinators at "Way to Recovery" transports them from their home to the hospital.

"Way to Recovery" numbers about 50 volunteers. Founded in 2006 by the Israeli-Palestinian Forum of Bereaved Families, requests for transport from the PA to Israel increase slightly each month.

The Rambam hospital in Haifa takes care of children from all over, "including children from the Gaza Strip, Schem (Nablus) and Hebron and we are asked to do our best. I also know there are many Palestinian children with cancer coming to Israeli hospitals," said Aya’s physician.

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