Saturday, June 6, 2009

PA health minister visits cancer-stricken ex-prisoner

Date: 06 / 06 / 2009 Time: 15:42

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian Minister of Health Fathi Abu Mughli on Saturday visited the governmental hospital in Beit Jala to check up on Palestinian prisoner Fayiz Zeidat, who was released from Israel’s custody after being diagnosed with cancer.

“We are here to visit one of our heroes who represents the Palestinian struggle, which will eventually lead to establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” Abu Mughli said at the hospital near Bethlehem in the central West Bank.

He highlighted that the Ministry of Health would provide the patient with any needed medical procedures that doctors recommend for his treatment, and said that he was greeting Zeidat on behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

For his part, Zeidat spoke a bit about his and his fellow prisoners’ suffering in Israel’s custody. “After I was diagnosed with cancer, I was transferred to Ramla prison hospital, where they gave me only pain relievers for treatment.” He also highlighted that 25 Palestinian prisoners at Ramla's hospital are in desperate need of medical care, yet they have not yet been permitted to see doctors.

Zeidat’s family appealed to the minister to transfer their son to a hospital in Jordan, hoping he might get better medical care, and the minister promised to consider the relatives' request.

Later, Abu Mughli toured the hospital, pointing out that the health sector will receive 60 million US dollars to fund several projects, including 1.5 million to refurbish the hospital in Beit Jala.