Joint Teaching Programme
The Joint Teaching Programme, founded in 2001 with the Peres Centre for Peace and Hadassah Medical Center, shares ophthalmic knowledge and resources between Israelis and Palestinians.
The programme typically involves a doctor from SJEHG completing a fellowship at Hadassah. The cutting edge training they receive is unparalleled to anything they would have received in the Palestinian territories. Their increased knowledge and resources increase the level of care SJEHG is able to provide. As the socio-economic burden of sight loss is significant, there is also a long term benefit for the region’s shattered infrastructure. Studies have shown blindness causes poverty and that restoring sight improves the economic status of individuals and their whole families (Kuper, 2008). With no universal health care system in the Palestinian territories, many Palestinians’ only option is to seek charitable health care or go without.
The Hadassah Medical Center in West Jerusalem is one of the largest and most progressive hospitals in the region. In 2005, Hadassah was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for its equal treatment of all patients, regardless of their ethnicity or religion; an ethos we share and received recognition for in 2012 when we were awarded the prestigious Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award.
In 2014, all ophthalmic specialties (except Oncology) were covered at SJEHG’s hospital by Palestinian doctors for the first time. This is in great part due to the Joint Teaching Programme. Of our 23 doctors, seven have undertaken formal training and qualifications at Hadassah, whilst the majority of our doctors have benefited from some form of informal training there.