Violent conflicts around the hospital in Bethlehem
In the early hours of Tuesday 2nd April Bethlehem was once more the theatre of violent conflicts. There was a gun battle in the center of town from 4 AM till 7 PM on Tuesday. The whole area has been put under curfew. Nobody can circulate, not even ambulances.
Many patients in labour telephoned the Holy Family Hospital to ask to send them an ambulance and to admit them to the hospital. Unfortunately, because of the curfew, the staff was unable to do so and neither could the Red Crescent Ambulance service. A family member of one of the patients telephoned our Hospital later to report that the patient had delivered but that the baby had died.
Thanks to the emergency plan that the Hospital has put in place, all necessary staff including on-call consultant doctors and maintenance staff stay overnight in the hospital and they have enough supplies for a long period of time. The staff who were on duty Monday evening stayed on duty until Friday afternoon, as the Hospital’s management was unable to drive them home or to get their replacements from their homes. Very few patients manage to arrive. Up till now the hospital has been spared and everybody in it is safe.