World Health Organizations (WHO) has released its monthlyÂ reportÂ for December of 2017, which revealed the following, according to the PNN:Â Â
â€“Â 2017 the lowest rate for approvals since WHO began active monitoring in 2008:Â 54% of patient applications to exit Gaza via Erez were successful. There has been a continuous decline in approval rates since 2012, when approximately 93% of patient applications were successful.
â€“Â 54 patients died while awaiting security approval for referrals out of Gaza:Â Approximately 85% of the patients who died while awaiting security permits had been referred for cancer investigations or treatment.
â€“Â In December, 48% of patients unsuccessful in obtaining security permits from Israeli authorities:Â From 2,170 patient applicationsÂ 52.4%Â were approved;Â 2.6%Â denied; andÂ 45.0%Â delayed, receiving no definitive response from Israeli authorities by the date of hospital appointment.
â€“Â Three in five patient companions unsuccessful in obtaining permits to travel out of Gaza:Â There were 2,507 permit applications for patient companions submitted to Israeli authorities in December.Â 40.5%were approved,Â 3.6%Â were denied andÂ 55.9%Â were delayed, still pending by the date of the patientâ€™s hospital appointment.
â€“Â Security interrogation of patients:Â 11 patients (7 males; 4 females) were requested for interrogation by Israeli General Security Services at Erez during December. Five were approved permits to travel for health care.
â€“Â Financial coverage for health care:Â 1,784 requests for financial coverage for Gaza patients were approved by the Services Purchasing Unit of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in December 2017.Â Â Â
â€“Â Limited access to Egypt:Â Rafah terminal was open for four days in both directions. 183 patients exited Gaza to seek medical care. No medical aid and no medical delegates entered Gaza via Rafah during the month.Â
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, and continues into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.