• Highest number of permit applications ever — lowest approval rate for patients in 7 years: Of 2,394 patient permit applications to exit Gaza through Erez checkpoint for hospital appointments in August, 60.3% were approved, the lowest approval rate since May 2009. 186 patients (7.8%) were denied permits, including 5 children and 16 elderly persons over 60 years. 764 patients (32%) received no response, including 199 children and 88 elderly people over 60 (Palestinian District Liaison office in Gaza).
• A father who took his 10-year-old daughter to hospital — detained at Erez and released after 6 days.
• 1 in 2 patient companions denied/delayed: The approval rate for permit applications of patient companions was 51.2%; 8.6% of the companions were denied and the remaining 40.2% were pending.
• Security interrogations: 24 patients, among them 4 females, were requested by the General Security Services for interviews at Erez during August. Four were approved and the rest were pending.
• Humanitarian health workers through Erez: Of 10 requests, 6 approved, 3 denied and 1 pending.
• Border No exit for patients: Palestinian officials at Rafah terminal reported that the Rafah border terminal was open for exit on two days only in August, and restricted to pilgrims. No patients were allowed to travel for health reasons to Egypt. No medical delegates or medical aid entered Gaza through Egypt during the month.
Ministry of Health Referrals in August
• The Ministry of Health issued 1,967 referrals for 1,918 patients in August to outside care with an estimated cost of NIS 8,982,054. The top 5 needed specialties for Gaza patients were in oncology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, ophthalmology and hematology.