Jordan demands Libya pays up on hospital bills
Jordanian hospitals are feeling the strain due to the delay in the Libyan government’s payment of patients’ outstanding bills, which exceed JD120 million, a senior official said on Tuesday.
In a meeting with Izzel Din Ruz, the Libyan chargé d’affaires in Amman, Minister of Health Abdul Latif Wreikat called for immediate action to settle the issue.
The minister said hospitals are being burdened by the debt and the Libyan government should pay at least 25 per cent of the total outstanding dues, so that hospitals that are in financial difficulty can operate and continue to provide services.
Wreikat added that Jordan trusts the Libyan government’s commitment to settle the bills of Libyans who received treatment in the Kingdom, but some hospitals cannot handle any further delay.
Stressing that his country is committed to settling the bills, Ruz said some details related to the issue need to be discussed.
Approximately 60,000 Libyan patients came to Jordan in the aftermath of the North African country’s revolution last year.
According to an informed source, who requested anonymity, the Kingdom’s hospitals have only received 15 per cent of the total treatment bill of JD150 million.
The Libyan government’s representatives in Jordan announced more than once that there will be no further delay in paying the dues.
At a press conference on September 14, Ali Bin Jalil, head of the Libyan health office in Amman, said his country is “committed” to paying its dues.
“We are keen to keep our distinguished relations with Jordan,” he stressed.
Bin Jalil criticised some local news media outlets for “exaggerating” the issue in their reporting, noting that the Kingdom’s hospitals had cooperated with Libyans in times of crisis and “we will pay our debts”.
Libyan patients were sent to 44 countries for treatment, he explained, of which, 14 countries, including Jordan, had the lion’s share.
“We have to wait until the auditing company finishes its work to estimate them,” he said at the time, noting that the Libyan authorities had already paid a total of $202 million (around JD143.1 million) to Jordanian hotels and hospitals.