• Rise in approval rate for patients' permits the lowest in 7 years: Of 2,011 patient applications submitted for permits to exit Gaza through Erez checkpoint for hospital appointments in January, 78.22% were approved, an improvement over the 67.24% approval rate in December 2015. Forty-seven patients (2.34%), including a child and an elderly person over 60 years, were denied and 391 patients (19.44%), including 102 children and 44 elderly people over 60, received no response to their applications (Palestinian District Liaison office in Gaza).
• Alarming increase in number of patients requested for security interview (GSS): 114 patients, among them 35 females, were requested for GSS interviews during January. This is 50% of the total number of patients requested during the entire year of 2015.
• No access to Egypt during January: According to Palestinian officials at Rafah terminal, Rafah border terminal was completely closed in both directions during January for all travellers, including patients or other humanitarian travellers. No medical delegates or medical aid entered Gaza through Egypt during the month.
Ministry of Health referrals in January
• Ministry of Health referred 2,057 patients in January to outside care with an estimated cost of NIS 10,369,507. Top 5 needed procedures for Gaza patients were in Oncology, haematology, MRI, heart catheterization, and paediatrics