WHO: 55 Children, 18 Eldery Denied Israeli Permit to Leave Gaza for Healthcare

Occupied Jerusalem, MINA – Out of a total of 242 (132 male; 110 female), or 11% of the total of Gaza patients’ applications for an Israeli army permit to cross Erez/Beit Hanoun for treatment outside the besieged Gaza Strip, but mainly in West Bank or East Jerusalem hospitals, who were denied a permit 55 were for children under 18 years and 18 were for patients aged 60 years or older and a quarter of them were cancer patients, according to the monthly World Health Organization’s (WHO) patient referral report.

It said that a quarter (25%) of denied applications were for appointments in oncology, 10% for orthopedics, 9% for cardiology, and 7% each for internal medicine, ophthalmology, urology, pediatrics, and hematology, WAFA reported.

It explained that 88% of denied permit applications were for appointments at hospitals in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 12% were for Israeli hospitals.

WHO said there were 2,198 patient applications submitted to Israeli authorities to cross Erez for healthcare in December: A third (34%) were for children under 18 and 16% were for patients aged 60 years or older.

It said 1,408 (777 male; 631 female) or 64% of the 2,198 applications to cross Erez in December were approved, close to the average approval rate so far for 2019. Over a third (36%) of permits approved were for children under 18 and a fifth (20%) were for patients aged 60 years or older.

However, 548 patient applications (322 male; 226 female), or 25% of the total, were delayed access to care, receiving no definitive response to their application by the date of their hospital appointment. Of these, 180 applications were for children under the age of 18 and 50 applications were for patients aged 60 years or older.

Almost a third (31%) of those delayed had appointments for oncology, 10% for hematology, 9% for pediatrics, 8% for cardiology, 7% for ophthalmology, and 7% for internal medicine. The remaining 28% were for 18 other specialties. The majority of delayed applications (499 or 91%) were ‘under study’ at the time of appointment.

WHO said approval rate for those injured during the Great March of Return demonstrations, since 30 March 2018 remained significantly lower than the overall approval rate for patient permit applications to exit Gaza, with 17% (105) approved out of 604 applications, 28% (167) denied and 55% (332) delayed.

Out of 28 (19 male; 9 female) patients, aged 20 to 68 years, called in December for security interrogation at Erez as a prerequisite to processing of their permit applications, two of them were approved, nine were denied and 17 were delayed.

Thirteen patients had appointments for oncology, four for nuclear medicine, three for urology, two for vascular surgery, two for orthopedics, and one each for cardiology, hematology, neurosurgery, and general surgery.(T/R3/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)