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Date posted: February 27, 2018
By MIFTAH

On February 19, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Health offices in Ramallah between Minister Dr. Jawad Awwad, Deputy Minister Dr. Assad Ramlawi and several other ministry officials with the director of the Coalition on Accountability and Transparency AMAN, Majdi Abu Zeid and CEO of Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy MIFTAH Dr. Lily Feidy, who both attended on behalf of the Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem ARIJ.

The participants discussed a number of files overseen by the MoH including the latest developments pertaining to medical referrals and medicines for the Gaza Strip. Other files were discussed regarding the latest developments in the transparency/medical safety law and the health insurance law in addition to discussing the proposal to establish a commission for food and medicine security. The organizations all confirmed their support for the Ministrys efforts on these files, especially regarding the adoption of a new health insurance law given that the current mechanism depletes the budget of the ministry.

Those in the meeting also discussed means for understanding and cooperation between civil society organizations and the MoH with the goal of expanding consultations between the two sides and promoting more openness with civil society as a key partner in promoting social accountability.

At the end of the meeting, the two sides stressed on reaching understandings that both serve the Ministry and enable civil society to exercise its monitoring and accountability role through dialogue as a means of fostering agreements that serve the common good.

It should be noted that the three organizations (MIFTAH, ARIJ and AMAN) recently completed a civil campaign to pressure the Ministry of Finance to increase allocations for the Palestinian medicine basket. The MoH reiterated their confirmation that pharmaceutical warehouses are open to civil society and the media and that there is not shortages of medication. The MoH also said it was committed to providing over 560 types of medicines (thereby exceeding the minimum international criteria for the various types of mandatory medicines by 200 types). The Minister also reaffirmed that the ministry would provide anything lacking from the official basket in accordance with specified procedures and criteria.

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