Monthly Report: Health Access - Barriers for patients in the occupied Palestinian territory, December 2019

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8,327 referrals issued to access health facilities outside the Palestinian MoH
2,916 Gaza
5,315 West Bank

64% of Gaza patient permit applications approved
48% of Gaza companion permit applications approved

81% of West Bank patient permit applications approved
77% of companion permit applications approved

28 Gaza patients called for security interview
2 approved
9 denied
17 delayed

Part 1 Referrals

December Referrals by the Ministry of Health

In December, the Palestinian Ministry of Health approved 8,327 referrals. 64% (5,315) of referrals were for West Bank patients, including 1,071 referrals for patients from Jerusalem, while 35% (2,916) of referrals were for Gaza patients and the origins of 96 referrals (1%) were not reported. Female patient referrals comprised 46% of the total. Reduced referrals to Israeli hospitals persisted, with 110 referrals to Israeli hospitals from Gaza (28% of the 2018 monthly average of 389), and 359 referrals for West Bank patients (30% of the 2018 monthly average of 1,185). Referrals from Gaza to Egypt comprised 10% (288) of total Gaza referrals compared to a monthly average of 245 in the first half of the year. Over two-thirds (72%) of Gaza referrals required Israeli-issued permits, while 10% required access through Rafah terminal to reach health facilities in Egypt. In the West Bank, 48% of referrals were to facilities in East Jerusalem or Israel, the majority of which require Israeli-issued permits to access care. Chart 1 shows the number of referral documents issued to patients in Gaza from April 2018 to December 2019.