Monthly Report: Health Access - Barriers for patients in the occupied Palestinian territory, October 2021


8,752 referrals issued to access health facilities outside the Palestinian MoH 2,032 Gaza
6,596 West Bank

61% of Gaza patient permit applications approved

38% of Gaza companion permit applications approved

88% of West Bank patient permit applications approved

82% of West Bank companion permit applications approved

8 Gaza patients called for security interrogation

Part 1 Referrals

October referrals by the Ministry of Health

In October, the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) issued 8,752 referrals to health care services delivered by non-MoH providers, which was similar to September and 13% higher than the monthly average (7,768) for the first half of 2021. Referrals from the West Bank comprised 75% (6,596) of the total, including 1,023 referrals for patients from East Jerusalem, while the West Bank population comprises approximately 60% of the total population in the oPt. Referrals for the Gaza Strip accounted for 23% (2,032) of the total, with 0.1% (5) referrals for Palestinians present in Jordan during the month.

The origin of 119 (1%) of referrals was not reported.

Palestinian MoH referrals to hospitals in the West Bank, outside East Jerusalem, comprised 50% of referrals in October; to East Jerusalem hospitals 36%; within the Gaza Strip 4% (reduced from 8% in 2020); to Egypt 5%; to Israeli hospitals 4%; to Jordan 0.5% (44 referrals) and 0.03% (3) to Turkey.

The top needed specialties for referrals were oncology (25%); cardiac catheterization (8%); cardiology (7%); urology & nephrology (6%); ophthalmology (5%); haematology (4%); medical imaging (4%); with 3% each for paediatrics, endoscopy, radiotherapy. The remaining 29% were for 25 other medical specialties.

Referrals for patients under 18 years of age comprised 21% (1,864) of the total, while 29% (2,506) were for those aged 60 years or older. Referrals for female patients comprised 46% of the total.