The Médecins du Monde Chapters in Palestine launch a new report on the obstacles to health in Gaza
The report contextualises the health system within the 12 years of blockade and the current de-development of the Gaza economy. It highlights that the current short-term humanitarian funding schemes directed to the health sector are not addressing the medium and longer-term development needs of a sector trapped in a protracted conflict. It sustains that the current situation is negatively driving the financial burden towards an unsustainable referral-based system, which is reaching its limits. It then portrays the main consequences this has on the system and in particular the patients. The report therefore encourages all actors involved to join forces to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus and address very concrete challenges in improving the geographic distribution of health services. However, the report stresses that these development steps can only work if concrete political measures are taken at addressing the root causes: the blockade and the occupation of the Palestinian people.
Based on the real stories of Palestinians in Gaza, the report invites the reader to follow the fictional Al-Gazaoui family in its journey through the different obstacles Palestinians and the health system itself are facing on a daily basis. This includes showing how the current referral system is a substantial and complex component of the labyrinth to health. Yet, through the examination of paediatrics, orthopaedics and oncology specialised health services, it also shades some light on other structural challenges such as the availability of drugs, equipment and specialised human resources.
Beyond presenting a comprehensive image of the challenges of the health system, the report provides concrete recommendations for improving access to tertiary health services for Palestinians in Gaza to relevant actors, including the international community, the donor community, the Palestinian Ministry of Health and the advocacy community.