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PCHR Concerned Over Medical Shortages in Gaza Strip Hospitals PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 December 2011 11:25

Ref: 124/2011


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses concern over the extreme shortage of medicines in the Gaza Strip’s hospitals.  PCHR warns of the potential catastrophic repercussions on the health of the Gaza Strip’s population, especially patients and those suffering from chronic diseases, of not having access to medicine which is currently unavailable in health facilities in the Gaza Strip.  PCHR calls upon the Palestinian President to immediately intervene to ensure the prompt flow of medicine and medical goods to health facilities in the region.


According to Dr. Muneer al-Bursh, Director General of Pharmacy in the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip, health facilities and warehouses have completely run out of 120 essential medicines and 140 medical goods. Dr al Bursh stated that the Ministry of Health in Ramallah had failed to supple the relevant goods, only supplying 20% of the Gaza Strip’s actual medicinal needs in 2011.  Dr. al-Bursh pointed out that stopping the supply of medicine and medical goods, such as Blood Line which is used in dialyses, threatens the lives of 400 patients in the Gaza Strip.  He further stated that medicine for cancer and anesthesia, drugs used to inhibit the immune system of patients who received kidney transplants at hospitals abroad, and medicines used for hemophilia have all run out from hospitals and warehouses in the Gaza Strip. 


It is worth noting that the medical crises in the Gaza Strip coincide with statements by Dr. Fathi Abu Mughli, Minister of Health in Ramallah, that there is no shortage of medicines in the West Bank.  Dr. Abu Mughli stated on 03 December 2011, that the situation regards medicine in the West Bank is better than any country in the region, including oil-producing countries, emphasizing that all medicines are available in the West Bank, but that hospitals sometimes suffer shortages in medicines due to delayed supplying from warehouses or due to measures taken by Israeli occupation authorities.  However, he noted, given the availability of alternative drugs in the West Bank, as is international practice, patients did not go without treatment in the case of shortages.[1]


PCHR expresses utmost concern over the deterioration of health conditions of Palestinian patients in the Gaza Strip, and:


1. Calls upon President Mahmoud Abbas to immediately intervene with the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to ensure the prompt flow of consignments of medicine and medical needs to health facilities in the Gaza Strip;

2. Calls for making necessary coordination to remove obstacles between the Ministries of Health in Ramallah and Gaza, especially under the current atmosphere of reconciliation;

3. Calls upon the Ministry of Health in Ramallah to immediately supply all medicines and medical needs that are necessary for health facilities in the Gaza Strip to avoid further risks to the health and lives of the population of the Gaza Strip.      

[1] See the statement by Dr. Fathi Abu Mughli, Minister of Health on the website of Maan News Agency, 03 December 2011. 

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