Palestine Anesthesia Teaching Mission-First year of operation 2011


Palestine Anesthesia Teaching Mission-First year of operation 2011

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Our first volunteer entered Palestine in January 2011and a total of 7 volunteers have completed assignments there in 2011.

Palestine Anesthesia Teaching Mission-First year of operation 2011


The volunteers have come from Canada, the United States, Sweden and
Australia. The volunteers each spent approximately one month in Palestine. They
worked in three hospitals, Makkased Hospital in East Jerusalem, Rafidia
Hospital in Nablus and Al-Ahli hospital in Hebron. The volunteers spent most of
their time doing hands on teaching in the three hospitals. They also did some
formal teaching to all of the residents one day per week. Each volunteer taught
a section of the curriculum usually in an area of their expertise. In effect we
instituted a formal teaching program in anesthesia in Palestine, an experience
which the residents in training had never had before. There are 22 residents in
training among the three hospitals mentioned. Although there is no formal
training in Palestine the trainees enter anesthesia having completed three or
four years of general duties and therefore they are quite skilled physicians.
The equipment is mediocre at best and does not meet the standards that we enjoy
in the developed world. The safety of our volunteers is our first priority.  We encountered no safety issues
involving volunteers in Palestine this past year. We plan to extend out
teaching mission to Gaza once we have firmly established our role in East
Jerusalem and the West Bank

The funding for this program was provided
by an organisation in the Emirates (SYS) and from the outset we have a signed
agreement with SYS to fund this project for at least 4 years.  SYS had an office in Ramallah which
handled the logistics for the volunteers upon arrival in Palestine. In June of
this year we were informed that the SYS office in Ramallah would no longer be
providing logistical support and that in future we would be dealing directly
with SYS in the Emirates.  When
this transition occurred we were assured that the funding would continue but we
would have to deal with a new set of rules. In effect they would not dispense
any funds until the volunteer had completed their assignments. They also asked
us to provide a huge amount of documentation on each individual including
copies of passports. We had plans in place to send 4 anesthesiologists to
Argentina for the World Congress and we had plans to send some trainees for
further training in North America as part of our development plan.  Unfortunately we did not receive any
further funding from our funding source in the Emirates and our last volunteer
for 2011 went to Palestine without financial support and essentially
volunteered not only his time but also was self funded. 

We received no further communications from
our funding source and were therefore forced to put a hold on the Program in
November 2011. This was unfortunate because we already had commitments from 6
volunteers to go to Palestine in 2012. In the meantime three of the Palestinian
residents were successful in their applications to present their work at the
World Congress. Based on our original contract with our funding source, we
agreed to fund any resident who had an abstract accepted to the congress. Even
though the funding was discontinued we felt obligated to support the residents
to present their work in Argentina in March. The estimated cost of funding all
three residents to the world congress was in the region of $12,000.00. We had
considerable difficulty finding the funds to support the residents.

Palestine course 2Fortunately an anonymous donor from Canada
has agreed to support continuation of the Program and to help fund the three
residents to go to Argentina.  It
is very difficult to make volunteer plans at such short notice therefore we
expect the next volunteer to go to Palestine in April 2012 at the earliest. We
anticipate that once the program is re-established we will send at most, 6
volunteers to Palestine each year.

In summary the Palestine Anesthesia
Teaching Mission has had a very successful first year of operation despite the
funding issues and all parties involved are very keen for us to continue this
program. A total of 7 volunteers taught in the operating rooms in East
Jerusalem and the West B. We were very disappointed that the original funding
group from the Emirates reneged on their commitment without notice or
explanation. We were very fortunate to find another donor very recently,
thereby allowing us to continue the Program. We are extremely grateful to our
anonymous donor for making it possible for us to continue this program. We are
also indebted to our volunteers for the sacrifices they made to teach our
discipline in Palestine.


Respectfully submitted


Project Co-ordinator

Palestine Anesthesia Training Mission










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