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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
31 December 2014

Referral of patients from the Gaza Strip

Summary: November 2014

Access restrictions tighten
  • Rafah border: Gaza’s main access to Egypt through Rafah border has been completely closed since October 25 following an attack in north Sinai which killed 30 Egyptian soldiers. The terminal has been closed for 186 days (61% of days) since the beginning of the year.
  • Access through Erez: only 78.97% of 1,636 patients who applied for Israeli permits to exit Gaza via Erez for medical treatment in November were approved. 44 patients (19 females and 25 males, including 15 children and 4 elderly) were denied permits. 300 patients (111 females and 189 males, including 82 children and 21 elderly people over 60) received no response to their applications, and missed their medical treatment appointments.
  • Interrogations: 17 patients (including 1 female) were requested to attend Israeli security interviews after applying for a permit to cross Erez.

Casualty patients
  • 29 patients (including 11 children) with war-related injuries applied to exit Gaza via Erez checkpoint. 23 were approved to exit for travel to Jordan, and 6 were delayed. The patients had been referred by the Ministry of Health during November with the cost to be covered by the receiving hospitals.

Patient detained at Erez
  • A patient remains in Israeli detention for 26 days after being arrested in Erez checkpoint enroute to his hospital treatment (page 6).

Low referrals reflect new policy guidelines
  • Child dies while waiting for referral/permit approval: see photo story above.
  • Regular referrals declined 22%: the Ministry of Health Referral Abroad Department (RAD) in Gaza referred 1,448 patients in November to hospitals outside of (MoH) facilities, 22% less than the monthly average for the first half of 2014.
  • Gender gap: the gender gap in referrals widened: 58.43% male patients versus 41.57% female patients. 25.07% of all referrals were for children aged 0-17 years and 19.54% were for patients aged over 60 years.
  • Estimated cost of referrals for October: NIS 6,144,932.

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