Please help us to continue to treat all those who would otherwise be unable to pay for their treatment. If you would like to make a donation towards this Fund, you can do so online here or fill in a postal form here. Please mark the form, "Patient Relief Fund".
We must raise £1m each year to ensure that we can provide the best eye care possible to those living below the poverty line in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).
Based on statistics provided by B’Tselem – the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the OPT – 47% of the population live below the poverty line (daily per capita income below $2.1). At the last count (July 2010) the population total for East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, stood at approximately 4.25m. Therefore approximately 2m people will, at some point, require medical advice/treatment that they have no means to obtain other than through special assistance.
There are 19 official refugee camps in the West Bank and just over 1m registered refugees. In Gaza there are eight UNWRA refugee camps and 1.1m registered refugees out of a population of 1.65m.
Our Patient Relief Fund was set up in the wake of the economic deprivation that accompanied the second Intifada – or the second Palestinian uprising – which began in 2000 and continued (arguably) until 2004.
Year after year, the demand for Patient Relief support increases. Patients who come to us fit into four payment categories:
- Those who are covered by the Palestinian Authority (PA) Insurance. On average PA covers 90-95% of the cost of the procedure, and the patient contributes the rest.
- Those who are covered by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). On average UNRWA covers 75% of the cost of the procedure (95% for social hardship cases), and the patient contributes the rest.
- Those who are fully covered by the Israeli Sick Funds; the patients contribute nothing towards their treatment at the hospital.
- Those whose families do not have any kind of insurance coverage. These patients pay any amount they are able to afford and are exempt from further payments after a thorough analysis of their case by our Social Worker.
Patients who fit into category 4 usually come from the poorest and most disadvantaged families and communities. It is these patients who desperately need assistance from our Patient Relief Fund.
In 2011, thanks to generous donors, we were able to provide free treatment to over 15,000 patients who qualified for assistance from our Patient Relief Fund. Without this vital Fund these patients would have been at risk of irreparable damage to their sight.
In their 2004 report on Blindness, Poverty and Development, The World Blind Union states that, ‘Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of blindness. Poverty and blindness reinforce each other.’ Please help to break this debilitating cycle, and to help the Palestinian economy.