"The steep increase in emergency cases since the beginning of the Syrian war has put a strain on the services offered by the hospital to the point that serious investment in rehabilitating infrastructure was badly needed."
Al Ramtha Hospital, a public facility in the Irbid governorate, Jordan, serves approximately 240,000 people, of which 70,000 are Syrian refugees living in surrounding local communities. As a consequence of the Syrian crisis, the hospital’s emergency unit had to be expanded due to the increased need for emergency care.
"[At Al Ramtha Hospital] we have all major specialisations, with the exception of cardiology and neurology. […] We receive 550 cases a day in the emergency room department (ER) and between 550 and 600 patients in other departments, which means roughly between 1,100 and 1,150 patients a day,” explains Dr. Saoud Abu Ali, director of the hospital. The steep increase in emergency cases since the beginning of the Syrian war has put a strain on the services offered by the hospital to the point that serious investment in rehabilitating infrastructure was badly needed.
“The hospital has 110 beds now. It used to have only 60. […] The European Union is building a new ER of 550sqm […] which will relieve the pressure we felt when we had a smaller ER. […] It will be much easier to allocate patients and to receive them, our doctors will be able to work in better conditions, patients will have more privacy, so naturally,” continues Dr. Ali, “there will be many positive outcomes. We are eagerly waiting for our new ER to become operational.”
The hospital lead nurse also adds that “this expansion will lead to, (and this is the most important thing), shorter waiting times for patients. This is because of the many waiting rooms that did not exist before and because there will be enough equipment to make the staff’s movements around the hospital easier, allowing for the provision of better services to patients.”
Besides an increased number of beds available, this expansion will also create more space for patients to be treated. “There will also be a triage room, which will allow patients to receive complete medical care in the same place,” explains the hospital’s lead nurse. “The expansion will allow us to provide better quality medical service.”
Ruham is Syrian and he is at Al Ramtha Hospital to visit his sick grandmother: “she has an inflammation in her chest... we came to Al Ramtha Hospital because we live [close by].” Ruham has been living in Al Ramtha for around 8 years and he has visited the hospital a few times. “The hospital is being expanded and they will have more beds. Cases are increasing and there are many new services. We hope it continues to develop so that care will be available for all patients.”
Thanks to the financial support of the European Union via the Trust Fund, UNOPS is assisting the Jordanian Ministry of Health in improving the health status of Jordanians and Syrian refugees while strengthening the overall national health system and the provision of services. The project will be beneficial to 760,000 Jordanians and Syrian refugees.