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King meets key figures in Karak, inaugurates public hospital expansion

Expansion includes catheterisation, cardiac surgery, burns and kidney stone crushing units

By Rana Husseini - Jun 24,2019 - Last updated at Jun 24,2019

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with key figures in Karak, during a visit to the governorate, on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

KARAK — His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday visited Karak and inaugurated the expansion of new sections at the southern governorate’s public hospital.

The expansion includes catheterisation, cardiac surgery, burns and kidney stone crushing units, with the aim of improving medical services in the southern region.

During a meeting with community leaders, as part of ongoing outreach meetings to check on Jordanians’ conditions and their needs in terms of services and development, King Abdullah said it was a pleasure to be among the people of Karak.

“I would like to express my pride in the citizens of Karak, who are known as a devoted and generous people,” the King said.

“As Jordanians, we are known to be resilient in the face of challenges, which makes us more determined to achieve more,” the King told notables, officials and residents of Karak who attended the meeting at Muta University, stressing the need for moving forward with development plans.

The King said Karak is rich in natural resources and tourist attractions, stressing the need to increase investments in the governorate to generate job opportunities.

Turning to health issues, His Majesty said he was well aware of the difficulties facing patients in general, and heart patients specifically.

“With God’s will, the expansion of the Karak Public Hospital was inaugurated today, and this will enable the institution to provide catheterisation and cardiac surgery services,” the King added.

Several officials and residents delivered speeches during the gathering, expressing their pride in King Abdullah’s firm stance and efforts to defend Palestine, protect Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites and ensure lasting peace in the area.

They also listed their needs and demands, which included coming up with programmes and projects that would address poverty and unemployment among the youth.

The officials suggested opening a development fund to be supported by companies and the private sector to be able to implement development projects. 

The demands also included increasing the budget allocated for the governorate and establishing parks and playing fields for families and young people.

The officials also addressed the agricultural challenges facing the governorate, such as the scarce water sources, the lack of variety in agricultural crops, limited agricultural technology and weak marketing for the sector. 

Officials and education officials addressed the main financial constraints facing Muta University, and requested support for opening a dentistry faculty. 

Several women also called during the meeting for further empowering women and increasing their representation in the political and administrative fields.

The women also noted the weak female participation in the Karak labour market and suggested providing transportation for women and securing daycares at their workplaces.

Several young men and women also addressed the gathering, urging a stronger role for the youth in political parties.

The youth also expressed hope that more focus will be targeted on Karak by increasing the number of clubs and recreational spaces that would “fill their time with useful hobbies and activities”.

His Majesty directed the government to focus on productive projects and to study the potential of utilising fertile state land to assist and support the governorate’s youth.

The King directed the government and the Karak Governorate Council to work out solutions to the issue of the bus complex in the governorate, which was established at a cost of JD4 million and has been closed for five years.

The King said sound planning is a must, observing that this project wasted many good opportunities, failing to properly serve the public and using up funds that could have been invested in other job-creating projects in Karak.

His Majesty directed the government to visit Karak Governorate and listen to public demands in terms of services, noting the importance of follow-up and identifying the governorate’s priorities to improve economic conditions and combat poverty and unemployment.

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz addressed the gathering, pledging his government’s commitment to all the demands and comments made during the meeting.

“Our main duty, under His Majesty’s directives, is to listen to all your demands, study it carefully to ensure that the best comprehensive and sustainable services are implemented in your governorate,” Razzaz stressed.

The premier added that a government team will visit the governorate and draft a clear plan to ensure that all the demands are considered and examined. 

Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi said work is under way on a number of new initiatives, including constructing 48 housing units for underprivileged families, a club for veterans and public parks and playgrounds.

The King assured the gathering at the end of the meeting that a committee from the Royal Court and the government will be visiting the governorate soon to follow up on citizens’ demands and “focus on the priorities”.

Earlier on Sunday, His Majesty had started his Karak visit by inaugurating the expansion of the 250-bed Karak Public Hospital.

Health Minister Saad Jaber briefed the King on the expansion project, noting that opening these new units cost JD3.5 million.

Adviser to His Majesty for Communication and Coordination Bisher Al Khasawneh, Adviser to His Majesty for Policies and Media Kamal Al Nasser, Adviser to His Majesty for Tribal Affairs Saad Hayel Srour, Interior Minister Salameh Hammad and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat accompanied His Majesty on the visit.

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