World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a report on Gaza referrals and access on which the wrote that, 45% of patients delayed or denied security permits by Israeli authorities: Of 1,883 patient applications for a permit to exit Gaza through Erez checkpoint for hospital appointments in August 2017, 55% were approved, 3% were denied, and 42% were delayed with no response by the time of the patient’s hospital appointment. Among those delayed were 169 children under the age of 18 years and 76 people aged 60 years or older.
More than half of patient companions delayed or denied permits Of which 2,120 permit applications for patient companions in August 2017, 43% were approved, 3% were denied and 54% were delayed, with their application still pending by the time of the patient’s hospital appointment date.
In addition to the Security interrogation of patients 62 patients (44 males; 18 females) were requested for interrogation by the General Security Services at Erez during August. Four were approved permits to travel for health care.
WHO added more details concerning the Persistent challenges for Gaza patients seeking financial coverage for health referrals including 1,297 requests for financial coverage for Gaza patients were approved by the Services Purchasing Unit of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in August. This is 36% lower than the number of financial coverage requests approved during August last year.
Limited access to Egypt: Rafah terminal was open during six days. 22 patients with 20 companions exited to Egypt. No medical aid and no medical delegates entered Gaza.
Five cancer patients died while awaiting security permits to travel for health care
Finally the report included a case study, Jehad, a 24-year-old patient with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is unable to access diagnostics and treatment outside of Gaza after nine applications to exit through Erez checkpoint.