Jordan revokes free medical treatment for Syrian refugees


November 23, 2014

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PRICE TO PAY: The Jordanian Prime Ministry has canceled free medical treatment for Syrian refugees in Jordanian public hospitals in a decision that went into effect Saturday, reported the state-run Jordanian daily A-Rai.

A picture of the decree—initially passed on November 12—was circulated widely on social media websites Saturday. The decree nullifies previous government decisions that had granted Syrian refugees free treatment, and specifies that Syrian refugees will “be treated as uninsured Jordanians,” and will be responsible for “paying treatment fees…directly.”

The total cost of Syrian refugees’ medical treatment in Jordan has reached $30 million, reported Jordanian daily A-Dustour. In one noted case, a female patient’s bill totaled JD28,000 (about $40,000) at the Al-Hussein Cancer Center in Amman.

Donor nations have covered the cost of refugees’ medical treatment in an irregular fashion, leading to “an unprecedented accumulation of debt” on the Jordanian side, according to a-Dustour.

More than a few Jordanians reacted positively to the decree on social media websites.

“The Jordanian gets treated by paying, and refugees get it for free. Now the refugee has to pay the same as the citizen,” wrote Majed a-Shadifat on Twitter on Sunday, adding that “refugees sell [the aid given him] in order to buy gold and argilah pipes.”

-November 23, 2014

-Photo courtesy of @AlamallCHC.

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