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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
31 October 2014

Referral of patients from the Gaza Strip

Summary: October 2014

Detentions at Erez

A patient remains in Israeli detention after being taken from Erez checkpoint enroute to his hospital treatment. A patient’s companion was detained and interrogated for 11 days before being turned to Gaza; his father returned to Gaza without accessing medical treatment (page 7).

Access restrictions increase

  • Rafah border: Gaza’s access to Egypt through Rafah has been completely closed since October 25 following an attack in north Sinai which killed 30 Egyptian soldiers. So far in 2014, the terminal has been closed on 216 days (65% of days).
  • Casualty patients: 9 patients with war-related injuries applied to exit Gaza via Erez checkpoint. Five were approved, 2 were denied permits and 2 were delayed.
  • Erez permit applications and approvals drop: 1,327 patients applied for Israeli permits to exit Gaza via Erez for medical treatment in October; only 78.22% of applicants were approved. 76 patients (27 females and 49 males, including 17 children and 4 elderly) were denied permits. 213 patients (77 females and 136 males, including 57 children and 26 elderly people over 60) received no response to their applications, and missed their medical treatment appointments.
  • Interrogations: 15 patients (including 1 female) were requested to attend Israeli security interviews after applying for a permit to cross Erez. Only one was approved.

Referrals decline
  • Casualty patients referred: 9 casualty patients were referred by the Ministry of Health during October. According to the MoH Referral Abroad department, an estimated additional 200 casualty patients have been waiting for referrals for 6 to 11 weeks.
  • Regular referrals declined 36%: the Ministry of Health Referral Abroad Department (RAD) in Gaza referred 1,188 patients in October to hospitals outside of (MoH) facilities, one third less than the monthly average for 2014.
  • Gender gap: the gender gap in referrals widened: 59.6% male patients versus 40.4% female patients. 27.25% of all referrals were for children aged 0-17 years and 17.93% were for patients aged over 60 years.
  • Patients protest delays: patients and families held a demonstration in front of the Gaza RAD offices to protest delays.
  • Estimated cost of referrals for October NIS 6,144,932
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