As part of the
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ (PCHR) ongoing efforts to improve health
services offered to Gaza Strip’s residents, on Wednesday evening, 27 November
2013, Eyad Alami, Director of PCHR’s Legal Unit held a meeting with Usamah
al-Najjar, Director General of the Purchasing Service Department at the
Ministry of Health, in his office at the ministry’s headquarters.

Mohammed Bseiso,
Lawyer at PCHR’s Legal Unit, Samih Mohsin, PCHR’s field coordinator in the West
Bank, and Dr. Subhi al-Sawafiri, Director of the External Treatment Department
in Gaza, attended the meeting.

During the meeting,
issues related to health conditions of patients in the Gaza Strip were
discussed, including the mechanisms of transferring patients to hospitals in
the West Bank, Israel and abroad; implications of reducing referrals of patients
to Israeli hospitals; and ways of enhancing cooperation between the Palestinian
Ministry of Health in Ramallah, the External Treatment Department in Gaza, and
PCHR so as to ensure that Gaza civilians enjoy their right to receive medical

Alami and Bseiso
also met with a representative from the Israeli Ichilov Hospital, and discussed
problems that prevent receiving patients at the hospital.  In the coming days, PCHR will work on holding
meetings with the relevant and competent parties to overcome these obstacles in
order to serve patients who are in need to receive treatment outside the Gaza

Yesterday morning,
Alami and Bseiso headed to the West Bank in a visit aimed for holding a number
of meetings concerning Legal Unit’s work programs at PCHR, including
contribution to facing the health crises resulting from the Palestinian split
to ensure the right of the Gaza Strip patients to enjoy the highest attainable
standard of health.

It should be noted
that PCHR, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health in Ramallah, External Treatment
Department in Gaza and the Israeli side, has been working for years on
providing a helping hand to the Palestinian patients, whose required treatment is
not available in the Gaza Strip, in order to ensure quick referral of patients
and enable them to reach hospitals on time.

PCHR had already intervened
for the Gaza patients’ interest during the past years when the External Treatment
Department in Gaza stopped working for more than once due to the implications
of the Palestinian division.  PCHR will
continue its efforts regarding this believing in its duty towards Gaza patients
and hoping that PCHR will be able to relieve them and help them obtain their
opportunities to receive the adequate treatment.