Occupied Palestinian territory | News | The Lancet publishes WHO study on restricted access to health care in oPt, October 2012

The Lancet publishes WHO study on restricted access to health care in oPt, October 2012

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8 October 2012 JerusalemThe UK-based medical journal, The Lancet, published an abstract of a study on 8 October carried out by WHO in the occupied Palestinian territory quantifying the extent of health access restrictions for patients, hospital staff and ambulances in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The findings indicated that in 2011, 19% of patients and patient-companions from the West Bank, and 10% of Gaza Strip patients were denied or delayed permits from the Israeli Civil Administration for access to health treatment. The total number of patients and companions denied or delayed access in 2011 was 33 760.

West Bank data from 3 of 15 districts in the first three months of 2012 indicated that the most frequent reason for denials of health permits was for unexplained ‘security’ reasons. Only 5% of Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulances had direct access through checkpoints in 2011, the rest carried out back-to-back transfers of patients to Jerusalem-licensed ambulances.

Two-thirds of staff at East Jerusalem hospitals must apply for access permits to travel to work, with restrictions on how and where they may travel.

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