• October permit approval rates drop to lowest in 7 years: Of 2,019 patient permit applications to exit Gaza through Erez checkpoint for hospital appointments in October, 44.08% were approved, the lowest approval rate since April 2008. 125 patients (6.19%) were denied permits, including 5 children and 6 elderly persons over 60 years. 1,0004 patients (49.73%) received no response, including 265 children and 116 elderly people over 60 (Palestinian District Liaison office in Gaza).
• 84% of Gaza patients' permit requests were to access treatment within the occupied Palestinian territory, in East Jerusalem or elsewhere in the West Bank.
• Almost two-thirds of patient's companions denied/delayed: The approval rate for permit applications of patient companions was 38%; 7% of the companions were denied permits and the remaining 55% were still pending as of the patients' hospital dates.
• Security interrogations: 14 patients, among them 6 females, were requested by the General Security Services for interviews at Erez during October. One was approved.
• Humanitarian health workers through Erez: Of the 4 WHO requests, none were approved: 3 denied and 1 pending.
• Access to Egypt: According to Palestinian officials at Rafah terminal, the Rafah border terminal was open in both directions for 7 days in October allowing 102 patients to travel for health reasons to Egypt. Seven ambulances were donated and entered Gaza. No medical delegates entered Gaza through Egypt during the month.
Ministry of Health Referrals in October
• The Ministry of Health issued 2,098 referrals for (1,989 patients) in October for outside care with an estimated cost of NIS 8,380,300. The top 5 needed specialties for Gaza patients were in oncology, paediatrics, ophthalmology, orthopaedics and hematology.