The Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Health, Dr. Hani Abdeen, visited patients at Hadassah Hospital on May 5th and emphasized the importance of cooperation with Hadassah in healing, teaching, and research.

Dr. Abdeen, accompanied by other senior officials from the Palestinian Authority, met with Hadassah Acting Director General and Director of Hadassah-Ein Kerem Dr. Yuval Weiss in the Pediatric Hemato-Oncology Department, where 30 percent of the patients are Palestinian. Dr. Weiss conveyed to him that “Hadassah considers cooperation with our Palestinian neighbors a top priority.”  Dr. Weiss further explained: “Medicine is a bridge to peace. There are no borders when it comes to treating patients.”

During his visit, Dr. Abdeen met some of the Palestinian physicians who were training at Hadassah. Dr. Weiss brought out that at any given moment, there are about 60 Palestinian doctors doing their residency at Hadassah. Emphasizing that it is important to develop specialties that are lacking in the Palestinian Authority–particularly anesthesiology, interventional radiology, cardiac care, and pediatrics–Dr. Abdeen noted, “I’m a Jerusalemite myself, so I know about Hadassah and its international positions.”

Entering Hadassah Hospital through the atrium of the Sarah Westman Davidson Hospital Tower, Dr. Abdeen was welcomed by Hadassah’s Marketing Director Amitai Rotem and Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America’s Israel Director of Public Relations Barbara Sofer, who explained that the new inpatient facility was a gift of the women and men of Hadassah and Hadassah International. “I wish we had you,” Dr. Abdeen replied.

“I understand that I am the first Palestinian Minister of Health to visit our patients in an Israeli hospital,” Dr. Abdeen said. “It’s a great pleasure to do so. This is an official visit.  I want to hear their feedback–their moans, groans, and gripes, as well as their praise for the good treatment they are getting.  We’re here to find ways to further collaborate.”

Dr. Abdeen thanked the Hadassah staff for the opportunity to visit and commended the hospital for its treatments and capabilities.

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