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Health ministry in Gaza warns of electricity blackout

February 11, 2014 at 9:23 am

Because of the severe shortage of fuel and electricity in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Health Ministry is warning of the possibility of a cessation in its healthcare services at any time should the crisis continue, according to a ministry spokesperson.

Spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qedra explained that his ministry has already announced cuts in the services of most healthcare sectors, saying that “We only deal with urgent cases.”

He commented that major medical equipment could also soon become out of service should the crisis of electricity and fuel continue.

According to a statement sent to MEMO, 88 Kidney dialysis devices will stop working, 45 rooms equipped for urgent cases will close, the ICU in the main hospital of Gaza will close, and five blood banks and tens of medical labs will also close.

In addition, the statement warned that: three mass refrigerators for keeping children’s vaccines and 113 nurseries will close, as will refrigerators for sensitive drugs and x-ray centres. In fact, all service departments are under the threat of closure.

Al-Qedra called for the regional and international community to urgently intervene in order to save the lives of Palestinian patients as soon as possible.

Gaza has suffered an electricity and fuel crisis ever since 2006, when Israel imposed a draconian siege on the Strip. Last month, the Israeli occupation and Egyptian coup government further hindered the entrance of fuel into Gaza.

Each household, hospital or bakery has electricity for only six hours a day. However even this will not last for too long, officials in Gaza say, if the embargo on fuel entering Gaza is not lifted.