MDA Stations in Yehudah and Shomron to Remain Open

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Magen David Adom ambulance. (Flash90)

Magen David Adom ambulances will continue to ply the roads of Yehudah and Shomron, at least for now, after the organization reversed its decision to shut MDA stations in the region. The reversal came after top officials, including Yehudah and Shomron Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan and Amana chairman Ze’ev Chaver urged the organization to reconsider.

Speaking Motzoei Shabbos, Dagan said that “it is time that these scenes are halted for once and for all. We cannot continue a situation in which each year we are told that because of a lack of budget, MDA halts operations in Yehudah and Shomron.”

On Thursday, MDA chairman Eli Been said a letter to Dagan that the organization had run out of money, and that it was forced to shut aid stations – among them the stations in Yehudah and Shomron. “It has been a year since we asked that our budget for operating in Yehudah and Shomron be allocated as part of the regular MDA budget, and this has not happened yet,” Been wrote. “We have a responsibility to ensure that our activities match our budget outlays. We cannot afford to tolerate the slow response of those responsible for the budget to provide the money we need.”

Over the weekend, however, Been said that the organization would continue to operate the stations for now, after pressure from Dagan and Chaver. Dagan thanked Been, and that he agreed with him that “the operating budget for MDA stations in the region should be part of the state budget, and not an extra addition that we have to fight to acquire. Health services are a basic right of all citizens, and I expect the Finance Ministry, the Health Ministry and MDA to resolve this issue for once and for all. Residents of Yehudah and Shomron are not ‘grade Z citizens.’”