Statement on Services at Qalqilya Hospital

02 September 2017

UNRWA remains committed to providing quality primary health care to Palestine refugees as part of the Agency’s mandate. To that end, we offer services at our 42 health centers across the West Bank. In Qalqilia, we have a spacious, modern health center we inaugurated last year where we provide excellent primary health care to the 50,000 refugees who seek treatment with UNRWA.

The decision to suspend in-take of certain cases at our hospital in Qalqilia was made with the best interests of Palestine refugees in mind. In particular, ensuring high standard maternity and natal care is of paramount importance to UNRWA and we are committed to ensuring that such services are available to Palestine refugees in accordance with our mandate, including through referral systems.

The Agency is concerned that some women in labor are waiting before presenting themselves for medical care in order to access emergency admissions at Qalqilia hospital. UNRWA strongly recommends against this practice and implores maternity patients to seek medical care through the referral system that UNRWA has introduced at alternative hospitals, immediately upon the first signs of labor or in respect of any other maternity related issues. Patients will receive better maternity care through maternity units at other hospitals and will put themselves and their babies less at risk.

Not to do so may cause serious risks to pregnant mothers and their babies including excess bleeding during the course of delivery and complications to the babies, including fetal distress that may put at risk the life of the mother and the baby.

Accessing emergencies should always be a last resort, particularly as emergency services will deal with a number of emergency cases.  The health staff at our health center in Qalqilia remain available to assist in this process and can provide a referral to an UNRWA contracted hospital that will provide excellent health care. 

Background Information: 

UNRWA is confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals. UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.4 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

For more information, please contact:

Sami Mshasha
Director of Communications, Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)258 90724