Ramallah: Jordan's Al Hussain Cancer Center (AHCC) has officially informed the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Health that it will no longer accommodate Palestinian patients because of the debts the ministry has accumulated with it.

Fathi Abu Mughli, the Palestinian Minister of Health, told reporters the ministry has received a letter to this effect from the Al Hussain Cancer Centre in Amman. He added, however, that the Palestinian Authority will continue referring Palestinian cancer patients to the centre as the ties between the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the medical centres in Jordan were based on humanitarian foundations, and not just financial.

So far, Abu Mughli said, the AHCC has not refused any case referred by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

He said a representative from his ministry has already been sent to Jordan to discuss the issue with the AHCC and to follow up with the centre on the relevant financial issues. He added the problems with the centre would be solved at the earliest to prevent Palestinian cancer patients, who depend only on the centre, from coming to harm.

Abu Mughli said the key aspect was to secure places for Palestinian cancer patients at the centre, for which the financial issues needed to be resolved at the earliest.

The letter sent to the Palestinian Ministry of Health by the AHCC said the Palestinian Authority owes the centre an accumulated debt that has not been settled for a long time.

According to the letter, the AHCC will not accept any more Palestinian patients referred to it by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The centre urged the Palestinian Authority to settle its debts in full to secure admittance of Palestinian cancer patients.

The ministry official statement said, however, that the Amman facility will continue to receive cases referred by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. All problems with it will be resolved, the ministry added, and Palestinian cancer patients need have no fear.