|Health-seekers: The number of applications for health access through Erez checkpoint is 44% higher this year than the same period in 2012.
Arrest at Erez: A man who was accompanying his elderly mother to a Jerusalem hospital for orthopaedic surgery was arrested at Erez checkpoint on October 15.
Outside referrals: Referrals in October remained high, although slightly below the 2013 average, due primarily to chronic drug shortages and unavailability of specialists and equipment. As in recent months, referrals to Egypt remained at low levels and one referral only was issued to Jordan. 45.6% of Gaza referrals were to hospitals within the occupied Palestinian territory (in West Bank and East Jerusalem).
Denials/Delays: The number and rate of denials for October was the highest in 2013. 11 patients (1 female and 10 male) were denied permits. 95 patients---34 females and 61 males (6.69% of total applicants) --- received no response to their applications, including 17 children, which delayed medical treatment. 92.54% of applicants received permits.
Patients interrogated: 22 patients (18 males; 4 female) who had applied for permits to cross Erez checkpoint were requested to appear for Israeli security interviews. This was the highest monthly number of patients for interrogation this year. One patient was granted a permit after interrogation.
Medical reasons for referrals: In October 2013 most referrals were for treatment in the following specialties: oncology--226 patients (17.17%), ophthalmology--98 (7.45%), nuclear medicine--97 (7.37%), urology--94 (7.14%), paediatrics--81 (6.16%), neurosurgery--76 (5.78%), orthopaedics--75 (5.7%), heart catheterization--73 (5.55%), MRI--59 (4.48%), and haematology--52 (3.95%).
Gender gap: There was a gender gap in referrals: 56.69% male patients versus 43.31% female patients. 25% of all referrals were children aged 0-17 years and 19.4% were elderly over 60 years.
Cost: The total estimated cost for Gaza MoH referrals during October was NIS 8,411,796.