PA Urges UNRWA to Rescind Medical Care Policy

Palestinian Authority (PA) ambassador to Lebanon Ashraf Dabbour called on UNRWA to cancel its new medical care policy, which puts much burden on the Palestinian refugees, Al-Resalah newspaper reported.

Recently, the UN agency said it was forced to reduce its customary payment of 100% of medical expenses for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

In a statement, it said: “Under the new arrangement, which came into effect with the New Year, every Palestinian refugee receiving medical services or hospitalization through UNRWA must pay 5 per cent of their bill at hospitals run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and 15 per cent at government hospitals.”

The new system calls for the suspension of coverage to Palestinians, who have Lebanese nationality or other Palestinians with dual citizenship.

Popular committees, local bodies and Palestinian civil society groups all said they would not accept the new system, arguing that medical services should be developed further, rather than cut back.

Dabbour said that he had discussed the issue with UNRWA’s General Director in Lebanon, Matyas Shamali, who promised to discuss the issue with the agency’s regional director general.

Shamali promised to organised a workshop for Palestinian groups and experts to discuss how UNRWA could best continue helping the Palestinian refugees and fulfill its mission.

(MEMO)

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