WHO: Only 63% of Gaza patients received permit during the past month

PNN/ Gaza/

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published its monthly report on Health Access for Referral Patients from the Gaza Strip.

The report shows high demand for patient permits  with a low approval rate: Of 2,026 patient permit applications to exit Gaza through Erez checkpoint for hospital appointments in September, 63.77% were approved,the lowest approval rate since June 2009. 177 patients (8.74%) were denied permits, including 9 children and 7 elderly persons over 60 years. 557 patients (27.49%) received no response, including 175 children and 54 elderly people over 60 (Palestinian District Liaison office in Gaza).

The Rafah border terminal was open in both directions for 4 days in September allowing 150 patients to travel for health reasons to Egypt, Rafah terminal.

The report added that a 60-year-old man accompanied his brother to hospital was also detained at Erez and released after 2 days.

In addition, almost 1 in 2 patient companions denied/delayed: The approval rate for permit applications of patient companions was 54%; 9% of the companions were denied permits and the remaining 37% were pending.

As for security interrogations: 15 patients, among them 2 females, were requested by the General Security Services for interviews at Erez during September. None were approved in the month. and 6 out of 8 Humanitarian health workers were granted accesss through Erez, 1 denied and 1 pending.

According to Palestinian officials at Rafah terminal, the Rafah border terminal was open in both directions for 4 days in September allowing 150 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.

In September, The Ministry of Health issued 1,711 referrals (for 1,550 patients) for outside care with an estimated cost of NIS 7,228,993. The top 5 needed specialties for Gaza patients were in oncology, paediatrics, hematology, ophthalmology and nuclear medicine.

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