Monthly Report: Health Access - Barriers for patients in the occupied Palestinian territory, April 2018
Part 1 Referrals
April Referrals by the Ministry of Health
In April, the Palestinian Ministry of Health approved 3,077 referral requests for Palestinian patients from Gaza to non-Ministry of Health facilities, the highest number of referrals issued for Gaza patients in a month, according to WHO records. 2,332 (76%) referrals were for health care outside the Gaza Strip, with 2,178 (71%) requiring access through Erez terminal to Israel and 154 (5%) requiring access through Rafah terminal to Egypt. A quarter (25%) of referrals were for cancer treatment and follow up. Chart 1 shows the number of referral documents issued to patients in Gaza from January 2017 to April 2018.
Part 2 ACCESS
The Gaza Strip
Of 2,037 applications to cross Erez for health care in April, approximately a third (30%) were for children under age of 18 and almost one in five (18%) were for patients over the age of 60. Just under half (46%) of applications were for female patients and 94% of applications were for medical care funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Approximately three in every five (61%) applications to cross Erez were for appointments in East Jerusalem hospitals, a fifth (21%) were for Israeli hospitals and a fifth (18%) for hospitals in the West Bank. Makassed Hospital (29%) and Augusta Victoria Hospital (25%), both in East Jerusalem, were the receiving hospitals for more than half of referrals. Permit applications for the top five needed specialties accounted for three-fifths of referrals (61%): oncology (29%); cardiology (9%); paediatrics (8.5%); haematology (8%) and orthopaedics (7%). The remaining 39% were for 26 other specialties.
Approved permit applications: 1,087 (576 male; 511 female), or 53% of the 2,037 applications to cross Erez in April 2018 were approved. Chart 2 shows a 12-month trend of Israeli responses to Gaza patient permit applications. Two in five (40%) of those approved were children under age of 18 and about a quarter (25%) were elderly people over 60 years of age.