RAMALLAH, West Bank, Aug. 15 (UPI) — Palestinians will no longer be referred to Israel or abroad for medical treatment but treated locally, Palestinian Health Minister Fathi Moghli said Sunday.
Moghli told the Palestinian Maan news agency funds will be funneled into the local health system to boost the quality of work and improve healthcare in the Palestinian areas.
Only in isolated cases will Palestinians be permitted to travel abroad for treatment, he said.
“We endeavor to reduce the cases which need referral abroad as long as they can receive adequate treatment locally,” Moghli said, adding that between 2008 and 2009, the number of patients being treated abroad was reduced by 50 percent.
More than $100 million had been spent on referring patients outside the Palestinian areas for treatment, which has now been reduced to $50 million, he said.
The funds will now be used to develop and build medical centers and hospitals, Moghli said.
“We have already prepared a comprehensive plan for next year to be submitted to the government. The plan includes a vision to promote medical services and secure a sustainable infrastructure within Palestinian hospitals and medical facilities,” he said.
“For the first time, we have 380 resident doctors practicing to specialize in 32 fields. We will soon become suppliers of specialized physicians to neighboring countries,” he told the agency.
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