An Underserved Population
Postmenopausal women have unique healthcare that, tragically, often go unmet by current healthcare systems in the Bethlehem region. Deteriorating economic and political circumstances have rendered many families unable to pay for preventative screenings and routine check-ups, leading to lasting health problems for women past the childbearing age.
In 2013, Holy Family Hospital launched its Well Woman Clinic to address the complex healthcare needs of Palestinian women. The first of its kind in the West Bank, the Clinic offers women affordable postmenopausal health services, including routine screenings, gynecological surgeries, diabetes diagnostics and treatment, and cancer screenings.
Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation subsidizes all Clinic visits by at least 50%. A new patient’s initial visit is always free of charge.
In addition to operating two days a week at Holy Family Hospital, the Clinic doctor regularly accompanies the Mobile Clinic to treat women who cannot afford to travel to Bethlehem for healthcare.
Over the past four years, the number of Well Woman Clinic patients has skyrocketed. While initially, women were reluctant to seek treatment, outreach by Hospital staff has had a significant effect in bolstering patient trust and participation. Today, the Clinic’s waiting room is regularly filled to capacity with women who have come to receive comprehensive preventative care.
Procedures such as those provided by the Well Woman Clinic make it possible for women in the West Bank to live healthier and more productive lives. The very existence of the clinic elevates the value of women to themselves and to members of their community.
“I was not able to live my life, and working outside my home was impossible. Now, I thank God for the generosity of Holy Family Hospital! I can live my life now, and I will be able to find a job and help support my family!”
-Heidi, Well Woman Clinic Patient