Bahrain hospitals ready for Palestinians
Manama, January 5, 2009
Palestinian patients could soon be flown to Bahrain for urgent medical treatment in the wake of sustained Israeli attacks on Gaza, said a top official.
Talks are reportedly underway that could see Palestinians transferred to medical facilities in either Jordan or Bahrain, Royal Charity Organisation secretary-general Dr Mustafa Al Sayed revealed to the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, on Sunday.
There are also plans to send Bahraini doctors to Palestine to help treat patients, according to Bahrain Medical Society chairman Dr Ahmed Jamal. "We are always ready to help the injured," said Dr Jamal.
He added that BD3,000 ($7958) had been raised in just one day to help fund a Bahraini medical delegation to Palestine, but said permission was needed from both the Arab medical Union and the Bahrain government before it could go ahead.
"We raised more than BD3,000 on day one, so I hope we will have a lot of money when we finish (fundraising)," said Dr Jamal.
It is understood that any Palestinian patients brought to Bahrain would be treated at the BDF Hospital, but Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Aziz Hamza said there were no plans as yet to transfer them to Salmaniya Medical Complex.
Meanwhile, Bahraini MP and head of Bahrain's Palestine Support Committee Nasser Al Fadhala said he was happy with the outcome of an emergency meeting of the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union in Lebanon.
"I have asked the hospitals to be prepared to take the wounded and injured into their care and that we get them there by plane, train or whatever way," he told the GDN after returning to Bahrain yesterday.
"We need volunteers also so that we can create a mobile hospital to send to the border. The people need food, water and medical aid, but they cannot do anything for themselves."
"I have already spoken to the NGOs of Bahrain to get them to help with money to send a big convoy."
Fadhala maintained that all union members were in agreement that urgent action was needed. "We must be looking to do something to help the people now," he said.
"We have done enough watching and waiting, we must now start doing something."
The MP hoped that a medical team from Bahrain could be on its way to Palestine some time this week, but said the task facing aid workers was huge.
"Whatever you are doing it is never enough," he added. "There are 1.5 million people there waiting for help because they cannot help themselves.
"I just hope we can do some good and put some pressure on the government to get the train back on the rails."
The GDN reported yesterday that a $1 million aid shipment had left Bahrain for Gaza on Saturday.
It included 80 tonnes of medicine and food supplies and was supervised by the Royal Charity Organisation, chaired by Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The consignment was flown to Al Areesh Airport, in Egypt, from where it will be transported to Gaza.-TradeArabia News Service