By Abdul-Jalil Mustafa.
Amman, 7 May:
Jordan and Libya on Monday discussed ways and means of boosting health cooperation between the two countries, . . .[restrict]during a meeting between Jordanian Health Minister Dr Abdullateef Woraikat and the visiting Libyan Second Deputy Prime Minister Omar Abdulkarim.
Jordan, which recently started training 10,000 Libyan policemen in the country, “places all its health capabilities at the disposal of the Libyan brethren, in accordance with personal directives from His Majesty King Abdullah II”, Woraikat said.
“Jordan is ready for receiving a large number of Libyan health workers for training in various medical spheres and through arranging short term and medium term courses,” he added.
The Jordanian minister pointed out that the health memorandum of understanding recently concluded between the two governments “provides the basis for building up sustainable and institutional Jordanian-Libyan cooperation in the medical and health spheres”.
Woraikat also expressed Jordan’s readiness to contribute to the building and reconstruction of Libya’s medical infrastructure which was badly affected by last year’s revolution.
He said that Jordanian hospitals would continue to receive Libyan patients for treatment once the two countries had managed to overcome the financial problems that had occurred dealing with the more than 50,000 Libyan patients who had been treated in Jordanian hospitals over the past few months.
The Jordanian minister said that in order to facilitate the smooth flow of Libyan patients to Jordanian hospitals, he planned to send a liaison Jordanian health official to join the Jordanian embassy in Tripoli.
For his part, Abdulkarim said that “ample chances existed for boosting bilateral cooperation, particularly in the health sphere and building up a strong partnership in this respect”.
He thanked Jordan for the assistance it had extended to the Libyan people during the difficult days of the revolution and for its tolerance that accompanied the influx of Libyan patients after the overthrow of the previous regime.
He said that the Jordanian Health Ministry would be the main body dealing with Libyan patients in future in order to avert the previous payment problems.
He assured the Jordanians that the Libyan government would shortly transfer the remaining funds to settle outstanding amounts owed to Jordan’s private hospitals for treating Libyan patients and wounded after the Libyan authorities paid JD 50 million ($70 million) two weeks ago.
He said that the Libyan government had also transferred JD 40 million ($58 million) to pay Libyan hotel expenses.
He said that the Libyan government intended to establish a health bureau in Amman to organise a controlled flow of Libyan patients to Jordanian hospitals.
Last week, the president of the Private Hospitals Association (PHA), Fawzi Hammouri, said that following the payment of the JD 50 million, the 20 member private hospitals had agreed to suspend their policy of refusing admission to Libyan patients.
However, he said that the remaining JD 70 million had to be paid soon in order to enable Jordanian hospitals to extend the necessary medical services to the Libyans. [/restrict]