Union of Health Work Committees
The UHWC is a Non Governmental Organization established in 1985 by a group of volunteers who were working at Palestinian health care and community service providers. These founders were looking for ways to improve the dismal healthcare situation for the Palestinian people and especially for those who needed it most: women and children, the elderly, people living in faraway regions, and poor families.
Since then, the UHWC has grown into a major force in the Palestinian healthcare sector from providing primary care within local communities to influencing national healthcare policymaking. Today, the organization operates a hospital and four medical centers, each with a focus on targeted health care services for specific groups within the community.
The UHWC's Al Awda Hospital is the organization's largest facility. It opened in 1997 and serves more than 220 thousand people in the Tel Aza'ater area. The hospital is set up to treat patients in all medical categories. The Al Quds Medical Center in Beit Hanoun (the Northern part of the Gaza Strip) is run by a board of local volunteers.
The center was established in 1989 and serves more than 28 thousand people with general medicine, gynecology, and lab services. It also houses the Al Hayah Center for Women, established in 1997. Al Assria Medical Center, located south of the Jabalia Camp was established in 1986. It serves a community of 100 thousand people and treats between six and seven thousand patients each month. In 1992, the Al Assria Cultural Center was born out of the medical center's cultural activities.
The cultural center serves more than 800 children with a library, summer camps, arts, training courses, and more. In 2003, work was started on a new center, the Allehdan Center for Medical and Community services.
Al Awda Medical Center in the Rafah Refugee Camp near Rafah City serves 68 thousand people and treats between five and six thousand patients per month 'The UHWC's headquarters are in Jerusalem and its branches in the West Bank and Gaza have respectively TK and TK members. The members represent TK from all sectors of the Palestinian healthcare world and work together in a General Assembly to formulate the organization's goals and policies.
Unfortunately, due to the political circumstances in Palestine we obliged to work separately. The UHWC's activities include: developing policy guidelines for the Palestinian health sector; promoting community awareness about healthcare issues; providing healthcare services to people with special needs; promoting coordination among various healthcare institutions; and helping create the building blocks for a democratic Palestinian society that is based on the principles of equality and justice Members underwrite the UHWC's founding principle that high-quality health care is a basic right for every citizen.
They also pledge to actively support the UNWC's efforts to actualize this right for all the people in Palestine regardless of race, gender, or religious affiliation.