A report published, on Wednesday, by Physicians for Human Rights Association,(PHR) stated that Israel prevents the Palestinian residents from receiving medical treatment in East Jerusalem Hospitals; since roadblocks set up in entrances to Jerusalem, and the construction of the Separation Wall, are barring many patients from reaching the medical facilities for treatment.
The PHR on said that Israel is undermining the Palestinians’ health situation and the Palestinian hospitals in east Jerusalem.
“The separation wall disconnects the Palestinian population in the West Bank from reaching hospitals and medical centers in Jerusalem hospitals, and places the hospitals’ existence in danger” the report added.
A wide variety of medical services are provided to the Palestinians in east Jerusalem, including oenological treatments, open heart surgery, heart surgery for children, eye surgery and orthopedics.
According to the report, east Jerusalem has been disconnected from the rest of the territories over the years, and that this separation reached a peak once the West Bank Separation Wall was constructed.
“Since roadblocks were set up on the entrances to the city at the end of 2000, and more acutely once the separation wall was built from the north, the east and the south, the number of patients who have managed to reach hospitals in Jerusalem has dropped significantly. Many of them are forced to give up on the treatment they need, or else make their way to other West Bank cities”, the report said.
The phenomenon is especially noticeable in east Jerusalem suburbs. Residents of the village of Al Ram relied on the east Jerusalem services, but are now forced to travel to other Palestinian cities in order to receive medical treatment.
The forced separation between hospitals and their patients has the most negative effect on hospitals, to the extent that their existence is under threat, the report added.
According to the report, the number of patients from Gaza and the West Bank treated in east Jerusalem hospitals has drastically reduced from 344.172 in 2002 to 177,500 in 2003, yet it continues to drop.
The report concluded that the “solution” provided by the Israeli army’s civil administration has been a failure.
“The number of Palestinians who require medical treatment is much higher than the number of people who received authorization for such treatment”, the report adds, “There have also been incidents where hospital crews have not received authorization, further curbing the ability of east Jerusalem hospitals to operate”.
Also, the report states that "hospitals cannot function without patients, and patients will suffer from being prevented access to hospitals, the result will be damage and harm on all levels.
The PHR recommends political, economic, and medical support for these hospitals so that they will not fall victim to the Israeli policies.
“It seems the ill are the ones who again pay the price for the political hopes of the Israeli government, which expects to safeguard its control of east Jerusalem, which was illegally annexed after the 1967 war”, the report concludes.