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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
31 August 2014

Referral of patients from the Gaza Strip

Summary: August 2014

The Gaza emergency which began July 7 continued until August 26 and resulted in more than 2,145 killed and 11,231 injured in addition to widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, including health facilities. Fewer patients were referred for routine specialized medical care during this period due to the severe security restrictions and Ministry of Health priorities of addressing the emergency health situation and treating casualties.

  • Casualty patients: 356 casualty patients were referred (and travel was coordinated as urgent):
      • 260 patients with war-related injuries crossed Erez: these patients were referred from Gaza hospitals to outside hospitals by the Ministry of Health during August, although access within Gaza to Erez checkpoint was difficult due to the security situation.
      • 96 patients with war-related injuries exited Gaza via ambulance at Rafah for treatment in Egypt.
  • Erez — fewer permit applications and approval rate drops: 946 patients had applied for Israeli permits to exit Gaza via Erez to outside referral hospitals in August, a drop of 43%. Only 82.77% of applicants were approved. 20 patients (7 females and 13 males, including 2 children and 2 elderly) were denied permits (2.11%); one casualty patient was among those denied. 143 patients (45 females and 98 males, including 24 children and 9 elderly people over 60) 15.12% of applicants, received no response to their applications; their medical treatment was delayed as a result.
  • 13 patients interrogated: 13 patients (including 3 females) aged between 18-60 years were requested to attend Israeli security interviews after applying for a permit to cross Erez.
  • Rafah: Egypt permitted 284 people to cross Rafah border for medical reasons, in addition to the 96 casualty patients, the highest number since December 2013.
  • Regular referrals down by 55%: In August, especially during the escalation of violence, the number of non-casualty patients referred to hospitals outside of Ministry of Health (MoH) facilities in Gaza by the Referral Abroad Department (RAD) dropped to 839, only 45% of the monthly average for 2014.
  • Gender gap: The gender gap in referrals widened: 59.12% male patients versus 40.88% female patients. 25.6% of all referrals were for children aged 0-17 years and 17.4% were for patients aged over 60 years.

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