Health care

The fuel and electricity crisis in Gaza—created by the blockade—impacts every service provider in Gaza, but none more vital than the health sector.

Like the rest of Gaza, hospitals and medical clinics have only six hours of power per day, requiring them to rely much of the time on generators, which are expensive and provide irregular electricity. Fluctuations in the electrical supply impact sensitive medical equipment such as ultrasounds, X-rays, laboratory machines, cardiac monitors, sterilizing machines, and infants’ incubators, putting patients’ lives at risk.

Gaza doesn’t have the means to treat cancer patients, people who need heart surgery, and other complicated cases. These patients require access to medical care in Israel or the West Bank. But under the blockade, movement restrictions delay and block access to treatment for patients, at times with fatal results.

The blockade also prohibits the import of vital medical equipment, including X-ray, MRI, and other laboratory machines. Imports of life-saving medicine as well as basic medical supplies are also often delayed or blocked, leading to severe shortages. Israeli officials have also repeatedly turned away World Health Organization trucks full of medical supplies, without explanation.

    Hospitals in Gaza have only 6 to 8 hours of power per day, putting patients’ lives at risk.
    Sick Children in Gaza

    And during Israel’s repeated attacks on Gaza, hospitals and clinics have been damaged and destroyed, ambulances have been made targets, and medical personnel have been killed.

    All of these actions are violations of international law, which guarantees a right to health and protects medical providers.

    Quick Facts

    •  Over 30 percent of patients in Gaza who need outside treatment are denied permits to leave or are delayed treatment.
    •  As of January 2014, over 300 medical machines at Gaza hospitals were out of order, including the only MRI machine at Gaza European Hospital.
    •  About 30 percent of essential drugs and 50 percent of essential medical disposables are out of stock each month in Gaza.
    •  The World Health Organization estimates that 360,000 people–20 percent of Gaza’s population–suffer from mental health challenges due to the blockade.
    •  During the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli military destroyed Gaza’s only rehabilitation hospital and three primary healthcare clinics. Many severely damaged medical centers have yet to be fully repaired due to the lack of resources.
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