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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
5 May 2015

Referral of patients from the Gaza Strip

Summary: March 2015

Access restrictions tighten

Rafah border: The Rafah border with Egypt has been opened for 5 days only this year (January: 3 days; March: 2 days). 14 patients travelled to Egypt for medical treatment in March and a shipment of medical aid and 2 ambulances were allowed to enter Gaza.

Access through Erez: 1,615 patients applied for permits to cross Erez checkpoint: 82.29% of patients were approved, 16.04% received no response to their applications (259 patients, including 80 children) and 1.67% were denied permits ( 27 patients, including 2 children and 4 elderly) were denied permits.

Interrogations: 17 patients (3 females and 14 males) were requested to attend Israeli security interviews after applying for a permit and 2 were later approved.

MOH referrals increase significantly

March was the highest number of referrals in one month since WHO began monitoring access to health care: According to the Ministry of Health Referral Abroad Department (RAD) in Gaza, 2,191 referrals were issued in March to non-MoH health facilities for specialized treatment, 45% more than the monthly average in 2014.

Gender gap: The gender gap in referrals remained wide: 58.47% male patients versus 41.53% female patients. 27% of all referrals were for children aged 0-17 years and 18.07% were for patients aged over 60 years.

Estimated cost of referrals for March: NIS 10,968,467.

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