Sidon Hospital Receives $20 Million Donation from Turkey
Friday, June 27 2008 @ 09:47 AM MSD
On Wednesday, Sidon Mayor Abdel-Rahman al-Bizri announced that the Turkish government has donated $20 million to the city for the construction of a new hospital and advanced rehabilitation center specialized in treating patients suffering from burns and war- and accident-related injuries. The complex will also include a unit for medical emergencies. Beirut may be Lebanon's political center, but the sleepy southern coastal city of Sidon has plans to challenge the capital when it comes to medical services.
Bizri called the hospital "the first of its kind in Lebanon, in terms of its field of specialization." It will make Sidon "the country's capital, in terms of medicine and hospital services," he said.
The complex will be a government hospital managed by an administrative board in cooperation with the city of Sidon.
The center will be built on a 14 square-kilometer parcel of Sidon's municipal land, whose worth Bizri estimated at more than $5 million. The mayor suggested that, in addition to the hospital buildings, the land could accommodate underground parking spaces, gardens and open areas.
The announcement of the project followed the visit of a delegation of Turkish officials to Sidon earlier in the day. The group included doctors, Turkish ambassador to Lebanon Serdar Kilic, representatives of the Turkish Red Crescent, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency.
Kilic, the head of the delegation, described the donation as a "gift from the Turkish government, which seeks to help the Lebanese people in any way possible." He added that he would like to see the project completed soon - the plans are ready, and all the technicalities have been taken care of with the Lebanese authorities.
Touting his city as the "southern capital" of Lebanon, Bizri issued a final appeal before thanking the delegation: considering Sidon's stature, the hospital's services should be made available to all who seek treatment, he said.