(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Although the health ministry's budget is mostly allocated to specific programmes, it has also been providing health services to displaced Syrians in Jordan, which places significant strain on its finances, an official said on Tuesday.
Minister of Health Abdul Latif Wreikat said that the cost of providing health services for the Syrians currently in Jordan will reach JD30 million this year: a figure that is likely to expand as more displaced people cross into the Kingdom over the northern border.
The ministry's overall budget for this year is JD430 million, and over 140,000 Syrians have entered Jordan since the start of a violent crackdown on dissent 16 months ago.
"We provide all needed health services and medication to Syrians who are currently in Jordan, which puts more pressure on the country's health system," Wreikat said on Tuesday.
Despite the cost, he said, "we cannot leave our Syrian guests without treatment and we treat them as Jordanians."
So far the ministry has vaccinated 25,000 Syrian children at a cost of JD800,000, Wreikat added.
The minister also noted that many of the Syrians who came to Jordan have chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and high blood pressure.
"These patients need to take medicine regularly," Wreikat said, adding that the ministry has referred a Syrian cancer patient to the King Hussein Cancer Centre and the cost of his treatment had reached JD28,000 as of Tuesday.
In addition, "16 Syrians were diagnosed with tuberculosis and they are being treated at the Kingdom's hospitals," the minister said during the signing of an agreement with the international humanitarian organisation Mdecins du Monde (MDM).
The agreement signed on Tuesday stipulates that MDM will establish a clinic in the northern border town of Ramtha, in a building provided by the Ramtha Municipality, to provide healthcare for Syrians there.
The organisation will allocate JD500,000 for equipping the clinic with the needed instruments and medicine.
"We thank the Jordanian government and the health ministry for their great efforts in providing services for Syrians," said Erwin Temmerman, MDM's general coordinator in Jordan.
"We will start implementing full activities in the clinic this week, through providing equipment and medicine to Syrians in Ramtha," Temmerman said after signing the agreement on Tuesday.