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Israeli hospitals refusing to treat African patients

Report: Jerusalem’s Bikur Holim Hospital refuses to treat a number of African asylum seekers under the premise that they don’t have health insurance.

In the past week, the Bikur Holim hospital in Jerusalem has turned away at least three Eritrean asylum seekers, according to a report in Maariv (Hebrew).

After experiencing severe stomach pains, Nestah Ibrahim, a 21-year-old Eritrean woman who arrived in Israeli legally, was transported to Jerusalem’s Bikur Holim by ambulance. There, hospital workers asked her if she had money to pay for the visit. When she told them she did not, they told her to go somewhere else.

Speaking to Maariv, Ibrahim says,

I tried to explain to them that I’m new here, that I don’t have status and rights but they weren’t convinced and they told me: “Go to a different hospital.” I asked them to at least give me pills to make the pain go away but they did not agree to give them to me.

Earlier this month, Ynet reported that a Tel Aviv hospital, Sourasky Medical Center, will limit admissions of and ban visits by African asylum seekers “out of concern for the spread of infectious diseases to other patients.”

While a number of African patients have been found to have tuberculosis, the plans put forth by Sourasky’s Director General, Gabi Barbash, will separate African and Israeli women in the maternity ward even if the former have been found to be free of infectious diseases. African and Israeli babies will also be separated.

Israeli doctors responded by condemning what they called “patient care apartheid.”

The Ministry of Health also slammed the move, calling it “racist.”

Following the outcry, Sourasky Medical Center eased the restrictions.

The phenomenon of refusing or limiting African patients is not new.  In early 2011, for example, an Eilat doctor refused to care for a pregnant African woman, telling her that he does not tend to Sudanese. In late 2010, an Eritrean man who had been attacked on the street by an Israeli man in Ashkelon was turned away from a local hospital even though he was bleeding.

Related Articles

>> South Tel Aviv residents protest against African asylum seekers

>> Authorities round up South Sudanese ahead of mass deportation

>> Israeli coalition members speak about refugees

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    1. Philos

      So much for do no harm… or is the Hippocratic Oath not taken here because “chas ve shalom” it was written by a goy?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Shaun

      Put your money where you mouth is:
      Let say that you are correct and the Israeli authorities are a lying, racist entity that care only about Jews and that they using the money issue as an excuse for not treating African patients.
      So how about Mya and all the rest of the “African asylum seekers should stay in Israel” clan, fork out some cash on their behalf. Why don’t you all start a serious collection, or better yet, call it a “moral responsibility” TAX: Every true liberal who believes that asylum seekers should stay here will donate 1000 NIS per month toward the health and welfare of these poor Africans .
      This would be far more effective than complaining about the government and it would actually make a real change and improve the lives of the recipients.
      It would also remove all government excuses and maybe teach the rest of racist Israel a lesson in “practicing what you preach”.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Glenn

      Shaun a-hole….israel is the receiver of us aid. As far as in concernd we’ve more than paid for the helalthcare of every african who wants to visit a hospital in israel.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Shaun, it would be wonderful if people supporting refugees could choose to divert their taxes from the pockets of the military establishment and its occupation and into healthcare and other more worthwhile things. If people don’t agree with their government and its financial priorities, they have every right to protest, as they are part of this society and they pay tax in this society.
      There are already refugee welfare organisations staffed and funded on a purely voluntary basis, so it’s not a case of people not putting their money where their mouth is. That’s a strawman argument, anyway – there are people who can’t afford to make very large donations every month, but that doesn’t mean they should have to see sick people turned away from hospitals because their government won’t implement a half-way humane policy on refugee welfare.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Richard SM

      Regarding Shaun’s post, I thought I read on +972 about a month ago that Israel is planning to make it illegal for anyone/groups to support African migrants.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Lauren

      Even Americans don’t treat immigrants that poorly.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Shaun

      Glenn, There’s no such thing a s free lunch. the US doens’t give Israel AID money so that it can do whatever it wants.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Shaun

      Vickey, the Israeli Goverment is making cuts to every department, and as citizens we are paying more for everything, and we about to be heaped with extra VAT.

      Money is a limitied resource and like all things limited, at the end of the day when there is not enough to go around, someone looses out.
      Marx was wrong…

      Reply to Comment
    9. Abigail

      Three billion dollars a year. From the US to Israel. What does Israel do with all that money? Welfare for the poor, the stranger in your midst (a.o. the immigrant, the refugee (!!), to clothe the naked and feed the hungrym provide medical care for the people esp. the poor? Have an environmental policy? No. To feed the intelligence and military echelon and war industry and stuff some more into the pockets of whoever is willing to stuff his/her pockets. To destroy the existence of the native people and occupy land that is not ours, and expel and demolish houses, pepper spray and kill with impunity, steal, murder, rape, harass and put in jails innocents without charge for years some more. Esp. those who protest these murderous policies. And then expect to stay a state as it is? Wow. They must not believe in God. This entity was established on pillaging and murder. Look what it has become. Even worse. And then there are shameless Shauns who vehemently defend turning away the refugee and/ the poor from a hospital, for God’s sake. Can one sink any lower?

      Reply to Comment
    10. Shaun

      Yep, completely shameless. It must really bother you that we not only survive, but we also thrive.
      60+ years of Human rights champions, Arabists, leftists and White-supremacists declaring that the end of Israel is near, and yet we grow stronger.
      Must really suck be proven wrong so often.

      Reply to Comment
    11. myaguarnieri

      shaun, your comments are really bizarre. and bizarrely off-topic. “declaring that the end of israel is near…” where does my article say that? and your use of the word “we” in “we grow stronger.” ummmmm… you do understand that i live in israel, right?

      Reply to Comment
    12. Shaun

      Hi Mya,

      While I don’t agree with you on most topics, your articles are food for thought.

      I know you live in Israel, sorry my last comment was off topic.

      It was a response to a similarly off topic comment to me made by Abigail.

      Tying US military aid to Israel’s treatment of Africans is as warped as pointing out the left wing blindness toward Syria in order to defend of Israel.

      Keep writing,
      Have good and be fun…

      Reply to Comment