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April 3, 2019 10:30 am

PA Halts Patient Referrals to Israeli Hospitals Due to Tax Issues With Israel

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Sojud, 16, recovers with her mother by her side after going through a cardiac catheterization at the Wolfson Medical Center in the central Israeli city of Holon on April 11, 2018. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90. – The Palestinian Authority will no longer allow patients to be referred to Israeli hospitals, according to reports on Monday.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, P.A. Health Ministry spokesman Osama al-Najjar said that Israeli hospitals have been overcharging for services and “taking funds for medical bills without our permission.”

An estimated 50,000 Palestinian residents are sent to Israeli hospitals a year, primarily for specific treatments that Palestinian hospitals do not provide.

Now, they will only have access to PA hospitals, including six that operate in eastern Jerusalem, as well as in Jordan, Egypt and other countries.

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The Finance Ministry deducts the cost of medical bills from taxes collected by Israel for the PA, according to al-Najjar, who said the ministry was unwilling to discuss solutions.

The Finance Ministry responded that “in accordance with the Paris Protocol and Israeli law, the Finance Ministry deducts, from [tax] funds that are collected for the Palestinian Authority, payments that it or parties under its control owe. Charges, including those for Palestinians referred by the PA for treatment in hospitals in Israel, are carried out in a fully transparent manner and in accordance with clear procedures.”

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