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Health ministry: Gaza hospitals on verge of collapse

Aug. 24, 2015 3:26 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 13, 2015 4:26 P.M.)
(MaanImages/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The healthcare system in the Gaza Strip is on the verge of collapse, Gaza's Ministry of Health said Monday, warning that hospitals could stop operating within hours due to the territory's energy crisis.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the ministry, said that "Shifa Hospital, Kamal Adwan hospital, the European Gaza Hospital, and Rantisi Hospital could stop offering services because they are about to run out of fuel."

"The current situation is the worst since the Ministry of Health was created in the Gaza Strip," he added.

The Gaza Strip, which receives its electricity from Israel, Egypt, and its one power plant, has been struggling to produce enough power for months.

The hospitals depend on private generators in addition to the power grid, but Israel's eight-year blockade has severely limited the supply of fuel to the coastal enclave.

The healthcare crisis been exacerbated by the blockade as well as three devastating wars since 2008.

The World Health Organization says there is a chronic shortage of pharmaceutical supplies and medicine in Gaza, with patients in need of tertiary care prevented from traveling from the territory due to the blockade, which Egypt maintains in Gaza's south.

Meanwhile, Israel's military offensive on Gaza last summer damaged or destroyed 17 out of 32 hospitals as well as 50 out of 97 primary health centers, according to a UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs report last September.

Six hospitals were forced to close during the conflict and four primary health centers were totally destroyed, the UN added.

The months following the war have seen further difficulties, with hospital staff, including doctors and nurses, protesting unpaid salaries.

Hospital cleaners and other staff have gone on strike on several occasions, angry that despite the amount of work they put in during the Israeli assault to ensure that hospitals and clinics continued running, officials have still failed to pay their salaries.

The workers used to be paid by the Hamas-run government in Gaza, but following the formation of a national unity government in June last year, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority disputed who was responsible for salary payment in the territory.

Tension between Hamas and the PA has also been detrimental to the supply of medical aid, with PA officials accusing Hamas officials of stealing the supply sent to Gaza.
Comments
Dai / Wales
With the arriving humanitarian disasters for refugees and migrants in Europe, you have to ask Gaza and the West Bank where has the donated US, European and Japanese aid money gone since 1948?
24/08/2015 16:07
Outlier / USA
Combine Hamas' misguided conflict and Hamas' misuse of funds for bunkers, missiles and military "training," and the reason for the crisis becomes clear.
24/08/2015 18:06
Legal Eagle / Australia
Correction, #1 - you have to ask the PA - it is they who are responsible for sending the medicines and equipment bought with the donations to Gaza - but they do not. Perhaps they have never been bought because the greedy PA pollies have their noses so deep in the trough?
24/08/2015 22:34
Joe Fattal / USA
Well for both on their previous comment. The US is spending billion of dollars for defense and more than 40.000 in NYC alone are homeless. Few years back the US has a trillion dollar deficit, and they didn't know where the money went to. So what's new.
24/08/2015 23:22
Tobias / USA
REAL PEACE IS THE GAZA STRIP'S ONLY SOLUTION,
and Gaza's employment, school, and hospital crises should be allowed to continue, so that Hamas accepts the need to begin a peace process !!
24/08/2015 23:41
Osamah Kiwan / Malaysia
"With the arriving humanitarian disasters for refugees and migrants in Europe, you have to ask Gaza and the West Bank where has the donated US, European and Japanese aid money gone since 1948?"

That's easy, they were destroyed by the weapons you supplied Israel with.
25/08/2015 05:47
Osamah / Malaysia
"Combine Hamas' misguided conflict and Hamas' misuse of funds for bunkers, missiles and military "training," and the reason for the crisis becomes clear."

Right, the US supported siege and occupation had nothing to do with it.
25/08/2015 05:49
Olga / N.J.
Corruption courts were supposedly after the money. 2-3 yes later there is absolutely no sign that and said "found" money is funneled back into the system. Doesn't anybody wonder why?
25/08/2015 12:18
Outlier / USA
Sorry to bust your bubble, Osamah, but essential medical supplies have never been restricted.
27/08/2015 02:06
Definite Maybe / Truths
-1- Maybe nothing good will ever happen for Palestinians, with or without peace talks. And, Certainly not if "good" requires 1967 lines. However,
-2- Definitely a lot more bad things will continue to happen to them,
if they continue their stabbing campaign and trying to kill Israelis !!
17/12/2015 18:28
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