Monthly Report: Health Access – Barriers for patients in the occupied Palestinian territory, June 2019

7,394 referrals issued to Gaza and West Bank patients to access health facilities outside the Palestinian MoH

2,330 Gaza

5,002 West Bank

59% of Gaza patient and companion permit applications to Israeli authorities for exit via Erez approved

68% patients

52% patient companions

81% of West Bank patient and companion permit applications to Israeli authorities approved

84% patients

79% patient companions

1 Gaza patients called for security interview, delayed

Part 1 Referrals

March Referrals by the Ministry of Health

In June, the Palestinian Ministry of Health approved 7,394 referrals. 5,002 (68%) referrals for West Bank patients, including 857 referrals for patients from Jerusalem, while 2,330 (32%) referrals for Gaza patients. The origins for 61 referrals (less than 1%) were not reported. The relatively low number of referrals to Israeli hospitals continued, with 49 referrals for Gaza patients and 343 referrals for West Bank patients, including 17 from Jerusalem. This reflects the Palestinian MoH’s decision in March to stop referrals to Israeli hospitals, apart from exceptional cases. For comparison, in 2017 there was an average of 346 referrals for Gaza patients and 1,010 referrals for West Bank patients to Israeli hospitals each month. In June, 73% of Gaza referrals required Israeli-issued permits to reach hospitals in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, while 12% required access through Rafah terminal to access healthcare in Egypt. In the West Bank, 42% of referrals were to facilities in East Jerusalem or Israel, the majority of which require Israeli-issued permits to access care.

Source: World Health Organization