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University President and Minister of Health Sign Agreement Recognizing An-Najah Teaching Hospital for Patient Referral

Dr. Rami Hamdallah, An-Najah University President, and Dr. Hani Abdeen, the Palestinian Minister of Health, signed an agreement on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 in the presence of His Excellency, President of the State of Palestine, Mahmood Abbas "Abu-Mazen." Signed in the presidential headquarters, the agreement stipulates that the Ministry of Health recognizes An-Najah Teaching Hospital for patient transfer and referral. This recognition acknowledges An-Najah Teaching Hospital’s status as a national scientific institution and educational facility, providing all medical services available in Palestine.

Under the agreement, cancer and blood disease patients from the northern governorates of the West Bank including the governorates of Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilia, Salfit, and Tubas will be referred to An-Najah Teaching Hospital. Patients will be transferred according to the service procurement and referral system currently in use at the Ministry of Health. Additionally, renal failure patients who were previously treated at Al-Watani Hospital will, under the current agreement, be transferred to An-Najah Teaching Hospital along with any new patient cases of renal failure.

Professor Hamdallah called the agreement “extremely important” because the recognition of An-Najah’s Teaching Hospital by the Palestinian Ministry of Health will allow for the transfer of kidney and cancer patients from the National Hospital to the University’s Hospital to begin. In the first phase, the Teaching Hospital will welcome renal and cancer patients and in subsequent phases it will welcome patients for all other forms of treatment.

Professor Hamdallah added that the Teaching Hospital will serve as a research center which will develop Palestinian medical personnel, thereby improving the Palestinian medical system by reducing problems and costs linked to patients being referred abroad for specialized medical care.

"We are so proud to have this Teaching Hospital which matches the quality level of important hospitals on the international scale. The University’s hospital will solve a number of problems which currently exist in the Palestinian medical system,” commented Dr. Hamdallah. He stressed that the Teaching Hospital will set a precedent by providing the highest standards of care for Palestinian patients while also serving Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science students in their professional training. Dr. Hamdallah thanked President Abbas for his support of the hospital and the agreement.

Minister of Health, Dr. Hani Abdeen, called the agreement “historic” as An-Najah’s Teaching Hospital represents the first university hospital in Palestine which will aim to meet the needs of the Ministry of Health and to address any existing shortages in the Palestinian health sector.  

"We are really in need of such hospitals because currently we transfer many patients abroad, and this is very costly for the government. We are looking forward to the time when all our patients can be treated by Palestinians in Palestine," said Dr. Abdeen. He stressed that transferring patients to national hospitals will support the national economy and the development of the medical field in Palestine.

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