Na’im: “Health sector in Gaza on the verge of collapse”

October 31, 2006 3:52 AM IMEMC & Agencies Gaza Strip, Miscellaneous, News Report 0

Palestinian Minster of Health, Dr. Bassim Na'im, warned on Monday that
the health sector in Gaza is on the verge of collapse as a result of
the Israeli and international siege imposed on the Palestinian people
since the election of Hamas earlier this year.

The statements of Dr Na'im came during a meeting with parliamentarians from the European Union in Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

“The current situation and the international siege imposed on the people and the health sector have greatly increased the suffering of the people”, Dr. Na'im stated, “The health sector lacks basic tools and equipment, and this siege is directly harming civilians”. 

Also, Dr. Na'im added that the Israeli Authorities are barring patients from travelling abroad or into Israel for medical treatment, which has caused a further deterioration of their conditions.

He added that since Israeli shelling targeted the only power plant in Gaza on June 25, the power failure that has resulted has resulted in a severe crisis in the Gaza Strip.

Most facilities, especially hospitals, are running on generators, but the fuel shortage (largely due to Israeli border closures) and the inability to keep the generators running all the time has caused a further crisis. 

Dr. Na'im also said that in spite of the E.U. support to the health sector, the crisis remains, since employees have not been paid for several months.

“Employees of the health sector, in contrast to other employees, cannot go on strike; they have to work on a daily basis”, Dr. Na'im stated, “Yet, they are still not paid.  This has increased their suffering and affected their work”.

He also said that even with the current political differences, the Ministry of Health should not be made to pay the price, and should be exempted from the international siege.

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