The Ministry of Health in Gaza held a conference to support the health sector, with the wide participation of donors and international health institutions, via Zoom, the conference entitled (Health Sector Challenges and Anticipations) aiming at discussing the challenges and the future anticipations of the health sector in Gaza Strip to coordinate the efforts towards meeting the growing needs of the health sector in Gaza Strip, that has been under blockade for 15 years. As the Deputy Ministry of Health, Dr. Youssef Abu Al-Rish in his opening speech said: “We in the Palestinian ministry of health would like to assure you that your support has been directed towards people who suffer not only four wars and the Great March of Return since 2008 but also the consequences of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic on 2 million populations who live in poverty and pain.
The last Israeli aggression puts the health care system on the verge of collapse. With every Israeli aggression, violation of the international laws are being committed, Israeli aggression forces have deliberately been targeting health facilities including hospitals, primary health care centers, doctors, paramedics, ambulances, and main roads leading to hospitals delaying the accessibility of patients and wounded to health services. In the last Israeli aggression, the Israeli airstrikes killed Dr. Ayman Abu al-Auf, may he rest in peace, he was the head of an internal medicine department in Al-Shifa hospital, leading the battle against COVID-19 in Gaza Strip.
The death toll of the last aggression has risen to 257, including 66 children, 39 women, and 17 elderly. The injured have reached 1948, including 277 children and 412 women. The Israeli aggression was coincident with an ongoing closure of the Beit Hanoun crossing, denying the accessibility of patients for treatment in the West Bank and Jerusalem. There have been Israeli claims of allowing critical cases but despite that, they refused to respond to dozens of permit requests applied by the Health Ministry’s Coordination and Liaison department on behalf of patients with serious diseases, whose treatment is not available at Gaza hospitals. Between the 25th and 30th of May 138 patients out of 151 were denied access to their treatment to succumb to their destiny from treatable complications, and let me commemorate all those who passed away while awaiting their travel permission including Hasan Ahmed Abed Al-Kharti, who had tongue and throat cancer, and died on Sunday, 30th May, 2021.
According to records of the Palestinian Ministry of Health, hospitals, and medical centers in Gaza Strip currently suffer from a serious shortage of 45% of the essential drugs list and 33% of medical consumables, and 56% of the laboratory products and blood banking supplies. Health care personnel are working with only 50% of their salaries.
Today we have thousands of patients who are expecting MOH to continue treating them for instance there are 1000 patients with renal failure and in need of dialysis. Around 8700 cancer patients are waiting for their treatment permission across the Beit Hanoun checkpoint.
The Israeli drone threats are still existing in our sky, the blockade is tightened, and the problem of medication shortage is not yet solved.
All thanks to the medical staff who dedicated their efforts to help and protect their people even if this means putting their lives at risk. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza highly appreciates your presence here today, your efforts to stand with the health care system supporting it, trying to rebuild its capacity and strength in those difficult times to enhance our preparedness and readiness.
All proposals are available on request at the International Cooperation Department in MOH, Gaza.