Monthly Report: Health Access - Barriers for patients in the occupied Palestinian territory, July 2020

Situation Report
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6,265 referrals issued to access health facilities outside the Palestinian MoH
1,186 Gaza
5,006 West Bank

138 Gaza patients exited through Beit Hanoun/Erez for healthcare
122 Gaza patient companions exited through Beit Hanoun/Erez

No comprehensive data available for West Bank patient and companion permit applications following suspension to functioning of Civil Affairs Office; 661 permits approved for patients to access Augusta Victoria Hospital and 278 to Makassed.

3 Gaza patients called for security interrogation

Part 1 Referrals
July Referrals by the Ministry of Health

In July, the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) issued 6,265 referrals to non-MoH facilities. 80% (5,006) of referrals were for West Bank patients, including 902 for patients from Jerusalem, while 1,186 (19%) were for Gaza patients, 2 for Palestinian patients in Jordan, 1 in Egypt and 1 in Syria. The origin of 69 referrals was not reported. The number of referrals issued declined from June, particularly for patients from the West Bank outside of East Jerusalem (from 5,115 in June to 4,104 in July), see Chart 1. In the Gaza Strip, the significantly lower number of referrals issued has persisted, with 1,186 issued in July compared to 1,288 in June and a monthly average of 956 in May and April. The number of referrals for the Gaza Strip in July is just under half (48%) of the monthly average in the first quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, the number of referrals issued for the West Bank has returned to a similar number issued monthly prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the oPt. Persistent severe movement restrictions in the Gaza Strip, exacerbated by the end to coordination of patient permits, are likely to be the main contributing factor to explain this difference.

From all referrals in July, the proportion of those destined for hospitals within the West Bank, outside East Jerusalem, increased from 40% in the first quarter to 48% in July. Referrals within Gaza increased from 7% to 14%. Meanwhile, referrals to East Jerusalem hospitals decreased from 41% to 33%; to Israeli hospitals from 5% to 3%; and to Egypt from 6% to 0.4%. 0.2% of referrals were to Jordan.

17% (1,089) of all referrals were for patients under 18-year-old and 31% (1,967) were for those aged 60 years or older. 47% of referrals were for female patients.