Tripoli, 19 April:
Owners of Jordanian hotels and apartments’ leased by the Libyan Medical Committee in the country have said that they . . .[restrict]intend to stop all services provided to Libyan residents, including food and drink, as of today, 19 April, because of no apparent commitment by the committee to pay outstanding bills. They warned that unless financial settlement was made, no services could be expected.
They also said that they would not accept any more Libyan guests. Those in hotels were asked to leave by Sunday unless they were prepared to pay their bills themselves.
It is reported that bills amounting to $125 million are owed to Jordanian hotels and apartment owners for accommodating Libyans. A week ago, Jordan’s Private Hospitals Association (PHA) also said that Libya owed a further $140 million in hospital costs for the tens of thousands of Libyans who had gone to Jordan for treatment. It said only $30 million had been paid so far.
Jordanian private hospitals stopped accepting Libyan patients at the beginning of this month unless they paid for themselves.
It was, however, also announced in Amman today that the Libyan government had transferred $70 million towards payment of the outstanding debt.
Ali Ben Jidyah, head of the Libyan Medical Committee in Amman, was quoted saying that the money had been transferred and should be handed over to his organisation by Sunday. Fifty percent of outstanding hospital bills would be paid in the coming days as would some of the hotel bills, he said.
He said the delay in paying back the outstanding debts was related to the government’s preoccupation with internal issues. “The situation in Libya following the revolt have delayed the payments, but now things are much better in Libya and all pending issues will be addressed,” he told Jordan’s Petra news agency.
The Jordanian press reports that the PHA had confirmed being notified of Libya’s decision to pay the $70 million.
Earlier, an official from the committee who preferred not to be named said that the Libyan health ministry had appointed a supervisor to settle the bills with hotels and apartments as well as hospitals and clinics.
He claimed that some $140 million had been deposited in the Libyan embassy account in Amman. However, it should have been deposited in the Libyan patients care committee’s account. He said this was the reason for the delay in paying bills.