Thoughts from our Chief Executive

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Within the St John Eye Hospital Group, our staff members are our most important assets and we are indeed fortunate to enjoy the benefits of having a long serving, loyal and dedicated workforce committed to achieving the goals of our mission.

We are proud to have 21 employees with more than 20 years service; two with more than 30 years and one with in excess of 40 years!

Salaries are, as in most organisations, costly and within the Hospital Group, they total some 60% of our total expenditure. This year we need to raise over £3.8 million to cover our wage bill.

Elsewhere within this edition of Jerusalem Scene you will read of the enormous adverse impact the global financial crisis is having upon our ability to continue to undertake even our 'routine' work. The Palestinian population has relied heavily on our services for the past 126 years, and has done so more and more in recent times as unemployment levels have soared to record highs and general healthcare within the West Bank and Gaza has deteriorated to record lows. In 2005 we treated 64,000 patients. By 2008, this figure had risen considerably to more than 94,000.

As the aftermath of recent tragic events within Gaza begins to unfold, we anticipate an influx to our Jerusalem Hospital of many innocent victims requiring complex surgery which will test the skills and expertise of our staff. The financial downturn must not be allowed to interfere with the execution of our vital work. Your continuing help and generosity is desperately needed.

I am extremely grateful to the many donors around the world who sponsor posts within our organisation. Further, I would like to encourage others to do likewise. Such donations not only secure employment for the individual but also help their family members - and in many cases extended family members - to survive in a most difficult environment blighted by poverty, conflict, unemployment and ill health.

CEO, Rod Bull