PCHR Meets with Hospitals in Occupied Jerusalem to Follow up Conditions of Patients Referred from Gaza
Date: 06 January 2023
On Wednesday, 05 January 2023, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) held 2 meetings with the directors of Makassed Islamic Charitable Society Hospital and Augusta Victoria (al-Mutala’) Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem. The meeting came as part of PCHR’s endeavors to promote the right to health for the Gaza Strip population and to promote PCHR’s communication with Jerusalem’s hospitals to help Gaza patients referred for treatment at these hospitals and facilitate their access to proper treatment services.
Dr. Fadel al-Muzaini, Head of PCHR’s Economic and Social Rights Unit, met with Dr. ‘Adnan Farhoud, Director of al-Makassed Hospital at its headquarter in occupied Jerusalem. The meeting discussed the hospital mechanisms to receive Gaza patients referred for treatment at the hospital and the problems the patients face during their treatment. During the meeting, al-Muzaini emphasized the importance of constant contact with al-Makassed Hospital, which is considered one of the hospitals receiving the utmost number of patients from Gaza for treatment abroad, in order to overcome all challenges and obstacles that may impede provision of proper treatment services to the patients with incurable and serious diseases.
For his part, Dr. ‘Adnan Farhoud, reviewed the challenges facing alMakassed Hospital, stressing that all the hospital’s departments give special attention to Gaza patients. He added that about 40% of patients in all departments and 90% of patients at the pediatric cardiology department are from the Gaza Strip. Farhoud demanded accreditation of national hospitals for patients’ treatment to spare them the suffering resulting from traveling to the neighboring countries. He affirmed that as part of its efforts to alleviate the suffering of Gaza Strip patients, al-Makassed Hospital works on allocating buses to transport patients from the Erez Crossing to the hospital.
On the same day, Dr. Fadel al-Muzaini met with Dr. Hani ‘Abdeen, Director of al-Mutala’ Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, in the presence of Dr. Adnan Hamamreh, Director of the Cancer Center at the Hospital. Dr. ‘Abdeen emphasized the importance of constant communication between PCHR and Al-Mutala’ Hospital and praised PCHR’s role in providing legal aid for patients and following up their referral procedures for treatment abroad.
Dr. ‘Adnan Hamamreh provided an overview of Al-Mutala Hospital’s role in treating patients referred from the Gaza Strip to the hospital, noting that 37% of the Hospital’s patients are from Gaza Strip and receive radiotherapy and treatment for blood cancer and solid tumors through the medical referral system. Hamamreh confirmed that the workshop, held by PCHR in presence of the Service Purchase Unit at the Ministry of Health and hospitals that receive patients referred for treatment contributed to achieving positive results with regard to resolving the problem of amending the patient’s medical referral system so that Gaza patients can now be referred from one hospital to another in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, without returning to Gaza to renew the medical referral. Dr. Hamamreh stressed that all parties should exert more efforts to supply essential drugs to the Gaza Strip healthcare facilities, thereby reducing the number of patients referred for treatment abroad as most of them are referred due to lack of essential drugs in the Gaza Strip. Hamamreh stressed that having a radiotherapy device in Gaza would end the suffering of already exhausted patients, who are referred to Al-Mutalaa Hospital only for radiotherapy sessions.
It was agreed to strengthen cooperation and communication between PCHR and hospitals in Jerusalem to help the Gaza patients referred for treatment with the aim of enabling these patients to have the highest attainable medical care. These meetings are held under the “Promote, Respect, and Fulfill the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health in the Gaza Strip” funded by the European Union.