The Jordan Hospitals Association has announced plans to open a hospital in Tripoli. The “Jordanian Libyan Hospital” will have a capacity . . .[restrict]of 100 beds. The cost is put at $30 million.
According to the association’s president Nael Odwan, the hospital in Tripoli will be run by Jordanian medical and nursing staff chosen from 43 of the Jordanian hospitals currently working under the umbrella of the Association. However, there are plans to employ Libyan doctors as well, nursing and technical staff on completion of specialized training at the hospital.
Odwan told Jordan’s Al-Rai newspaper that the planned hospital had been presented to the Libyan authorities and received their initial approval. He said that a delegation headed by Libyan Health Minister Fatima Hamroush would be visiting Amman at the end of March to discuss the project and the means of implementing it.
Investment for the project is expected to come from Jordanian hospitals that are members of the association.
The director of Amman’s Ibn Al-Haytham Hospital who had proposed the project, Abdullah Abu Khadija, said that the Libyan authorities had welcomed the idea of establishing it and promised to provide all necessary assistance to make it a reality and wanted to participate in the running of the hospital.
He added that the Libyan government had asked Jordan to provide medical expertise and treatment in Libya rather than abroad, citing cost as a reason and the need to provide treatment for Libyans in their home country.
A week ago, the head of the Libyan Medical Committee in Jordan, Ali Ben Jalil, announced that 48,000 Libyans had travelled to Jordan for medical since February last year. The total number of Libyans going there, he said, was 58,000.
Ben Jalil added that the total cost of treating Libyan patients in Jordan until the end of January was $80 million. “We have paid $30 million of these outstanding dues”, he said.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Jordan’s Private Hospitals Association (PHA) on 29 February, Ben Jalil attributed the delay in paying the bills to several factors, including priority being given to paying for hotel accommodation and rent for apartments, in addition to per diems for patients.
“Libyans are staying in 172 hotels and apartments in Amman, Irbid and the Dead Sea,” he explained.
He also said that there had been delays in sending invoices to the committee. “Hospitals sometimes send the bills late and this results in delaying the payments.”
The number of Libyan patients arriving in Jordan is dropping according to PHA President Awni Bashir.
“Every day, around 1,000 Libyans used to arrive in Jordan for treatment,” he said at the oppress conference, He said that it was now down to 40 a day. The reduction was because of new regulations by the Libyan government as to who could go.
Of those who had been treated in Jordan, 8,000 were wounded in last year’s revolution. Most came for other medical reasons, including cancer and diabetes treatment. Seven thousand Libyan couples, he said, had come for in vitro fertilization.