Minimizing Medical Referrals Abroad Jeopardizes Patients’ Lives


Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, July 10, 2017

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) follows up with concern the latest updates of the External Medical Treatment Department in the Gaza Strip manifested in Ramallah’s Ministry of Health minimizing medical referrals abroad, without explaining reasons, for patients suffering from serious health problems that cannot be treated in the Gaza Strip hospitals. PCHR is concerned over the disastrous impacts inflicted on hundreds of patients who urgently need medical treatment or medical follow-up in hospitals in Israel and the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem.

Based on PCHR’s constant follow-up of the external treatment file, Ramallah’s Ministry of Health minimized in April referrals abroad or the renewal of other referrals of hundreds of patients suffering from serious and chronic diseases without displaying the reasons behind this decision. In view of these updates, PCHR sent a letter to Dr. Jawad Awwad, the Health Minister in the National Unity Government, on 21 June 2017, expressing its concern over the delay of medical referrals for the Gaza Strip patients and demanding the Minister to send the financial coverage for those patients, especially for cancer and cardiac patients and children. However, PCHR received a response from Dr. Amira al-Hendi, Director General of the External Medical Treatment Department, through the Minister’s office on 03 July 2017 negating the Ministry’s suspension of medical referrals in the southern governorates (Gaza Strip), considering that as fake allegations…