A medical treatment program for Syrian patients in Israel was in danger of being shut down after Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman issued an ultimatum that if the government does not soon pay a 300-million-shekel debt it owes to the Galil hospital where they are being cared for, it will stop accepting the patients, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.
The Western Galil Medical Center in Nahariya has been treating Syrians who cannot get medical care in their country due to the civil war. Approximately 1,550 Syrian civilians have been patients in the hospital over the last four years.
The costs of the program were supposed to be borne equally by the Defense, Finance and Health Ministries, but Defense and Finance owe most of the outstanding debt, while Health owes only a small portion, according to the hospital management.
“We were asked by the government to carry out this medical task, and we have done it. We have treated and saved the lives of 1,500 babies, children, men and women. We have no idea what has happened to them after their release and return home,” a hospital spokesman said.