Ref: 111/2019

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) calls upon the Al-Mutala’ Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem to receive the patients referred for treatment.  PCHR expresses deep concern over the Al-Mutala’ Hospital’s decision to stop receiving patients referred for treatment due to the accumulating debts owed by the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH).  PCHR warns of the serious impact of the ongoing crisis on the life of patients whose treatment is unavailable in the Gaza Strip.  Furthermore, PCHR calls upon the Ministries of Health and Finance to pay off immediately these accumulating debts to al-Mutala’ Hospital.

According to information collected by PCHR’s fieldworkers and patients’ complaints, at least 60 cancer patients from the Gaza Strip, who were referred to al-Mutala’ Hospital for treatment, were surprised with the hospital’s refusal to admit them upon their arrival. The hospital’s administration justified its decision due to MOH’s accumulating debts.

The Treatment Abroad Department in the Gaza Strip confirmed to PCHR’s fieldworker that patients who are referred to Al-Mutala’ Hospital have successfully completed the technical procedures; they obtained adequate medical referrals and have scheduled appointments. Additionally, the Department asserted that these patients need immediate medical intervention that is not available within the Gaza Strip hospitals.

Out of its concern for patients’ life and commitment to their right to health, PCHR had issued a press release, on 22 July 2017, calling upon the Palestinian National Authority to settle its financial crisis with Al-Mutala’ Hospital.

PCHR reiterates its concern for the situation of Palestinian patients from Gaza who are referred to Al-Mutala’ Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem; thus, it calls upon:

  1. MOH to settle its financial crisis in order to guarantee the right of every individual to receive the highest attainable mental and physical medical care;
  2. The administration of Al-Mutala’ Hospital to retract their decision to stop receiving patients referred to it by MOH, especially cancer patients who would be forced to go through a lengthy and complicated bureaucratic process to obtain a new medical referral and wait for exit permits to access West Bank hospitals, including hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem, and/or Israeli hospitals.