October Update

  • 01 Nov 2021

COVID-19 update

  • In late June Israel experienced a fourth wave of infections.  Following a successful campaign to administer a third booster dose, the wave of infections is now in its final stages
  • There has been a steady reduction in the number of positive Covid-19 cases, as well as the number of serious hospitalisations
  • There are discussions about opening the country for vaccinated tourists and this may potentially begin in November
  • In the Palestinian Territories, the pandemic is steadily under control and fatalities have dropped

Staff Vaccinations:

  •  All eligible staff in Jerusalem have received their booster dose
  • All staff members in the West Bank and Gaza have received their two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine

The St John Eye Hospital Group

  • The Hospital Group has been operating at an almost 100% capacity and as a result, our clinical activity numbers are mirroring our 2019 figures (pre Covid-19).
  • From January-September there were 98,000 outpatient visits, which is approximately 33% more than the same period of 2020 and 4% more than 2019
  • One third of our outpatients were children
  • Over 4,800 major operations have been performed, which is 23% more than 2020 and almost 18% more than 2019
  • Sponsored surgery from UN OCHA in Hebron and USAID in Gaza can be attributed to this increase
  • We have performed 657 major paediatric surgeries which is approximately 10% more than the same period of 2020 and 11% more than the same period of 2019

Jerusalem Eye Hospital


  • Ophthalmic nurse training has been suspended this year, but there are plans for it to resume next year
  • Discussions are underway with A l Quds University to secure an academic affiliation for the Hospital. If achieved, it will enhance the academic standing of our training and research activities
  • There are discussions on establishing a clinical education, research, and innovation department at the Hospital.  This is in line with our strategic plan and should further enhance our academic reputation
  • Six residents, of whom three are sponsored, continue with their 4th year residency programme.  Two new residents will join in November and December 2021
  • Dr. Raja’a Massri is due to start her oculoplastic fellowship at Afoula/Tel Aviv Hospitals before the end of the year and there are plans to send another doctor to undertake a paediatric fellowship in Tel Aviv
  • Dr. Salam Iriqat, appointed research coordinator, is working with the SOA to improve local research skills to enhance the number of quality research articles produced
  • A new contract has been signed with the Leumit Israeli Sick Fund Scheme.  This will improve our work with the Israeli Ministry of Health and further increase patient related income

Anabta Centre

  •  There has been a 20% increase in clinical activities at the Centre, compared to the same period a year ago. However, this is an 8% decrease in clinical activities compared to 2019
  • Nursing staff contracts are like to change from part-time to full-time as one nurse has resigned and another is due to retire in December this year

Gaza Hospital

  • Clinical activities in Gaza have resumed as normal following the conflict in May.  There has been an increase in patient numbers compared to the same period in 2020 and 2019
  • Both cataract and major surgeries are up by 30%-40% respectively
  • We continue to receive a patient relief grant from USAID and we are likely to continue receiving this next year
  • Travel into and out of Gaza remains restricted.  However, we have been able to receive medical supplies in good time, without disruption being caused to our services

Hebron Hospital

  • Outpatient and surgical activities have increased, compared to the same period in 2020 and 2019
  • This can partly be accredited to the UN OCHA grant, which has provided financial support to poorer patients needing cataract surgery