October 10, 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) published its annual Right to Health report this week regarding access to health in the occupied Palestinian territory for 2018. Among other issues addressed in the report, access to medical treatment for patients from the Gaza Strip seeking care unavailable there figures prominently as does the harmful impact of restrictions on movement.
In 2018, 39% of permit requests by patients from Gaza were denied outright or delayed so much as to compel the patient to miss his/her appointment for critically needed care. The report also addresses the issue of companion permits for medical patients, which are increasingly difficult to receive, particularly for males in the age range of 18-40. As a result, 1,821 children travelled to care outside the Strip without their parents in 2018.
Gisha and partners have tracked this distressing state of affairs since 2015, calling on the Israeli authorities to facilitate access for parents accompanying their children to reach medical care.