WHO: Children, Elderly Patients Denied Permits to Leave Gaza for Treatment

Israeli authorities systematically prevent Palestinian patients from leaving the occupied Gaza Strip for medical treatment. (Photo: ActiveStills.org)

Out of 219 patient applications who were denied in August Israeli permits to leave Gaza through Erez/Beit Hanoun crossing for healthcare in West Bank or East Jerusalem hospitals, 40 were children under 18 years of age and 35 aged 60 years or older, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its monthly reports on health access for Palestinian patients.

It said a quarter (24%) of denied applications were for appointments in oncology, 19% for orthopedics, 7% for ophthalmology, 6% for hematology, 6% for cardiology, and 5% for general surgery.

In addition, 356 patient applications (195 male; 161 female), or 21% of the total, were delayed access to care, receiving no definitive response to their application by the date of their hospital appointment. 

There were 1,734 patient applications to cross Erez for healthcare in August. Almost a third (31%) were for children under 18 and 18% were for patients aged 60 years or older, said WHO, adding that 46% of applications were for female patients and 92% were for medical care funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Regarding patients companions, there were 1,897 companion permit applications to Israeli authorities in August to cross Erez to accompany patients, including parents or other companions applying to accompany children. Only one companion is allowed to accompany each Gaza patient.

A total of 975 patient companion applications (51% of the total) were approved, 317 applications (17%) were denied and the remaining 605 (32%) were delayed, receiving no definitive response by the time of the patient’s appointment.

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

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