Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on doctors in Israeli hospitals to work in the West Bank.
The call came after the Palestinian Authority froze more than six months ago the transfer of Palestinian patients from the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Israeli hospitals for medical treatment, as part of the response to Israeli financial steps against the Authority.
The PA agreed with Jordan and Egypt to transfer Palestinian patients to hospitals there instead of Israel.
Shtayyeh made the call during a meeting with a delegation from Physicians for Human Rights. Observers said he might be looking for medical cooperation.
The Palestinian prime minister suggested that doctors come to Palestinian hospitals and offer treatment to patients, instead of transferring patients to Israeli hospitals for treatment, which forces the PA to pay high sums to Israel every month.
He also accused Israeli hospitals of providing unnecessary medical services to patients, in order to increase the hospital bill, a claim denied by Israel.
The PA says Israeli hospitals charge them exorbitant prices and that the costs of treatment were exaggerated.
Israeli media said Shtayyeh wanted not only Arab, but Israeli doctors as well. But a subsequent statement from the government said the prime minister called on Palestinian doctors inside Israeli hospitals to work in Palestinian hospitals to strengthen the medical staff and provide it with various specializations.
Israeli Ran Goldstein, director of Physicians for Human Rights, said Shtayyeh “did not say he was only interested in Arab doctors; he said he wanted to develop the health system. He did not specify whether he wanted Jewish or Arab doctors. ”