According to the Director of Gaza RAD, Jordanian hospitals have limited admissions of recent MoH referrals since early May 2012, due to the failure of PA to cover costs of treatment for Palestinian patients referred over the last few years: only 5 MoH referrals were made during June, compared to a monthly average of 38 in 2012.
Permit applications for patient referrals through Erez
In June 2012, 784 patient applications were submitted to the Israeli District Liaison Office (DCL) for permits to cross Erez to access hospitals in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Israel and Jordan (see Table 2) compared with 883 in May, 764 in April and 768 in March 2012.
During this month 91% of applications (715) were for patient referrals submitted and financially covered by the MoH, 3.1% (25) were self-funded, 2% (16) by Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, 1.5% (12) by Nour ala al Alam Foundation, 0.6% (5) by Peres Peace Center and the remaining 1% (9) cases by other funds.
6.1% (48 patients, including 9 children) receive no answer to their applications before their hospital appointment date; 14 patients were waiting for ophthalmic treatment, 7 for orthopedic, 8 for cardiac, 6 for oncology, 4 for neurosurgery and the remaining for other specialties. 15 patients (4 females and 11 males) were called for interrogation by the Israeli General Security Services (GSS) as a condition of their permit application.
Following their interrogation, 10 patients received no response from the GSS about their permit application, 3 were approved, one was asked to resubmit the request, and one was asked to change their companion.
Delays in Medical Treatment
Delays in processing applications and non response to applications can be critical for patients who are waiting for urgent medical treatment. In 2011, WHO documented three cases of patients who died while waiting to receive permits to travel through Erez crossing to access their referral treatment, but this figure is considered underreported due to the lack of systematic follow up of the health status of patients denied health access.