Médialab Investigation: the 4th investigation published looks into poor management within public hospitals in Palestine

November 26, 2020

In her investigation published on Wattan, Palestinian journalist Wafa Arouri highlights the poor management of medical equipment in hospitals, which not only results in public funds being wasted, it also endangers the health of citizens. 

In 2003, a state-of-the-art hospital with ultra-modern equipment was the pride and joy of the inhabitants of Turmus Aya, north of Ramallah. Today, the Sheikha Fatima Hospital is nothing more than an empty shell, which has lain abandoned for several years following the Ministry of Health’s decision to close it. 

Almost 60 km further south, at the Al-Khalil Hospital in Hebron, the scanner has been out of order for months. “How can a hospital that treats hundreds of thousands of patients have such an important piece of equipment [the scanner] out of order for so long without repairing it?” exclaimed Youssef Jardat, whose mother needs to undergo a CT scan following a road accident. 

Wafa Arouri attempted to answer this question during her investigation. She interviewed the hospital director, the adviser to the director of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission, the director of the State Audit Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB), etc. and not only did she identify negligence in the maintenance of medical equipment, she also uncovered deliberate acts, such as the theft by a doctor of public hospital equipment for use in his own practice.

Her investigation is the fourth to be published as part of the Médialab Investigation project after that of Asaad Zalzali on the trafficking of medicines in Iraq, that of Saïd Akrout on breast cancer in southern Tunisia and that of Dorra Abdelkader on psychological violence towards women in Tunisia. 

Médialab Investigation is providing support for the production of eight investigations in the area of health in the form of training sessions, personalised support and a financial contribution to the costs of conducting the investigations.

Wafa Arouri’s investigation is available to read (in Arabic) on the Wattan website