Lutheran hospital caught in Palestinian monetary dilemma
Christian donors provide short-term aid
Jun 27, 2006
Jerusalem’s Augusta Victoria Hospital, a facility that treats Palestinian residents from the West Bank as well as some Arabs from East Jerusalem, has a million-dollar view from its perch atop the Mount of Olives.
Built in 1910 by Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, the stone building affords a heart-stopping vista of the Old City of Jerusalem, whose ancient walls gently slope into the contours of the hills and valleys below. Sunlight glints off the gold-topped Dome of the Rock, built on the contested Temple Mount.
But Augusta Victoria, which is owned and operated by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), has been on an emergency footing since January, the last time the cash-starved Palestinian Authority was able to pay its debts.
The hospital relied on the Palestinian government’s insurance payments for 40 percent of its operating budget. The facility has been living on credit with suppliers.