oPt

Monthly Report: Health Access for Referral Patients from the Gaza Strip, December 2015

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Situation Report
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Ref: 12 (Feb. 15, 2016)

Summary: December 2015

Erez crossing

  • Approval rate for patients’ permits the lowest in 7 years: Of 1,801 patient applications submitted for permits to exit Gaza through Erez checkpoint for hospital appointments in December, 67.24% were approved. Approval rates have dropped considerably since May 2015 (17%). Seventy-seven patients (4.28%), including 9 children and 1 person over 60 years, were denied and 513 patients (28.48%), including 147 children and 51 elderly people over 60, received no response to their applications (Palestinian District Liaison office in Gaza).

  • Arrests: A 28-year-old health professional with a valid permit was arrested at Erez crossing on his way to a training in the West Bank. He was held for 25 before being released (see p. 6).

Rafah exit

  • Rafah border: Rafah border terminal was open on 2 days only during December. In 2015, the border has been opened a total of only 26 days, allowing only 178 patients of the 1,670 patients with Ministry of Health referrals to Egypt to cross for health care. Before the July 2013 closure, more than 4,000 Gaza residents, the majority of whom were private patients, to cross through Rafah monthly for health-related reasons.

Ministry of Health Referrals in December

  • Ministry of Health referred 1,975 patients in December to outside care with an estimated cost of NIS 9,149,795.