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First health clinic for African refugees opens in Jerusalem
Life in Israel
First health clinic for African refugees opens in Jerusalem

Jerusalem’s first medical clinic serving the city’s 3,000 uninsured African refugees and asylum-seekers from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia opened this week to treat the largely marginalised and at-risk population. 

The Terem Jerusalem Clinic for Asylum Seekers is the brainchild of first-year Hebrew University of Jerusalem medical student Roni Ben-Ami, who said she witnessed refugees avoid getting proper treatment because they knew they could not afford it.

“I am a medical student, and as I developed a deeper and more professional understanding of the Israeli health system, I realised that not everyone is receiving the excellent medical care that the National Health Insurance enables,” said Ben-Ami on Tuesday.

“Uninsured asylum seekers in Jerusalem don’t have affordable access to health care,” she lamented.

To receive treatment, Ben-Ami said patients previously had to travel to the Terem emergency health clinic in Tel Aviv, which has facilities serving uninsured members of the African refugee population for nominal fees. 

On Sunday, the Jerusalem clinic opened its doors for the first time, charging patients a standard fee of NIS 40 to see a doctor, obtain x-rays, and perform blood tests.  

The clinic is also staffed with translators to assist patients during their registration and treatment.

“It is important to say that the clinic is linguistically and culturally accessible to the patients,” she emphasised.

Presently, Ben-Ami said the clinic can only afford to function once a week, but hopes to expand hours as more resources become available.

 Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Thursday, July 06, 2017
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