WHO: Israel approved only 58% of patient applications to leave Gaza for medical treatment abroad

JERUSALEM, Out of 2067 patient applications to leave the Gaza Strip through Beit Hanoun/Erez crossing in August to get medical treatment outside the besieged enclave, 1,195 (M: 579; F: 616) or 58% of the applications were approved, 5% lower than the average approval rate (63%) for the first half of the year, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) monthly Health Access: Barriers for Patients in the Occupied Palestinian Territory report.

In August, men aged 18 to 40 had an approval rate of 44%, while women over 60 had an approval rate of 77%.

The report said 28 (M: 18; F: 10) patient permit applications, comprising 1.3% of the total for Gaza, were denied in August, the highest number of applications denied since January this year. These included five children under 18 years, 11 adults aged 18 to 40 years, five adults aged 41 to 60, and seven over 60 years old.

They were referred for oncology (9); cardiology (3); ENT, endocrinology, ophthalmology, and orthopedics (2 each); pediatrics, urology, general surgery, hematology, internal medicine, nephrology, neurology, and neurosurgery (1 each). Twenty patients were referred to hospitals in East Jerusalem and eight were referred to hospitals in the West Bank outside East Jerusalem.

In addition, 844 (M: 469; F: 375) patient permit applications, or 41% of the total, were delayed access to care, receiving no definitive response to their application by the date of their hospital appointment.

It said 35% (295 applications) were for children under the age of 18, while 12% (99) were for patients over 60 years old. Of delayed applications, 50% were for appointments in East Jerusalem hospitals, 31% for the West Bank, and 19% for Israeli hospitals. The major delayed specialties included cancer care (27%), pediatrics (13%), cardiology (11%), ophthalmology (8%), hematology (8%), and orthopedics (7%).

Most delayed applications (818 or 97%) were ‘under study’ at the time of appointment.

Two applications were delayed based on the assertion by the Israeli so-called Civil Administration that suitable care is available within Gaza, though no evidence was provided to support this claim, said WHO. Nine were delayed due to requests to change companions.

 

Source: Palestine News & Info Agency