Coordination of health treatment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
30 Jan 2013
COGAT, via the Civil Administration and the Gaza DCL, approves on a daily basis hundreds of life saving medical treatments, in coordination with the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
The health coordination activity is carried out in the office of the Health Coordinator at the Judea and Samaria Civil Administration, with the Ministry of Health of the Palestinian Authority, hospitals both in the Judea and Samaria region and in Israel, different health organizations and individuals who apply to the office for assistance. Each year, Mrs. Dalia Bessa and her team approve tens of thousands of permits for patients and their escorts from the Judea and Samaria region in order to enable them to be treated in hospitals in Israel.
In 2008, 144,838 Palestinians entered Israel for medical treatment, and in 2009 there was a 20% increase, with 172,863 entries of Palestinians into Israel. A year later, in 2010, 175,151 Palestinians entered Israel for treatment, and in 2011, there was an increase of 13% - 197,713 entries of Palestinians. In 2012, there was an additional 6.5% increase, i.e. 210,469 Palestinians in need of medical care entered Israel in order to be treated in Israeli hospitals.
Moreover, during 2012, the Civil Administration financed life-saving medical treatments for 20 Palestinian children (marrow transplants, kidney transplants, purchase of a pump for P.N.T., prenatal diagnosis, impaired intestine surgery and baby obstruction) and more medical treatments worth more than 1,500,000 NIS per year.
The Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, which is financed by the World Lutheran Federation, UNRWE, has established several mobile clinics which travel across the Judea and Samaria region and provide patients with medical treatment. The hospital operates the mobile clinics as part of a continuous commitment to cope particularly with diabetes and breast cancer among the Palestinian population, to optimize treatment and bring it to the patients and to the needy.
The health coordinator at the Civil Administration, Mrs. Dalia Bessa, has issued special movement permits for the mobile clinics and their staffs, in order to optimize the access of the different communities in the West Bank to the medical treatment they need. "We assist the hospitals in Jerusalem as much as we can to operate the mobile clinics with cancer, eye and diabetes specialists, in order to bring them to the inhabitants in need in all the villages situated far away from the cities," says Mrs. Dalia Bessa.
A report published in 2012 by the World Health Organization (WHO) describes the coordination and liaison efforts invested by Israel and COGAT to facilitate the entry of Palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. The key data presented in the report show that 91.5% of the applications which were filed, asking for medical treatment in Israel, were ultimately approved, 7.2% are pending security check and only 1.3% of the applications were rejected, demonstrating the importance and urgency ascribed to such applications by Israel.
In 2012, 16,553 Palestinians entered Israel from the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in hospitals situated both in Israel and in the West Bank. "Since the opening of the Rafah Crossing by Egypt, less people are choosing to enter Israel via the Erez Crossing, out of personal considerations," says a Gaza DCL senior official.
"We will continue to assist the Palestinian population to the extent required, in the transportation of the Palestinian patients for medical treatment in Israel, as well as holding workshops and practical and theoretical seminars in Israel, in order to provide the Palestinian doctors with better tools and improve the health system in the Judea and Samaria region and in the Gaza Strip," conclude COGAT officials.