The Ministers of Health of the Arab states have been given a detailed report on the situation of health provision in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The report was presented by the Palestinian Health Minister, Fathi Abu Maghly, during a meeting of the Ministers of Health at the 34th session of their council in the Arab League headquarter in Cairo. The agenda included a discussion of Israeli actions that impede the work of medical personnel working in Palestine.
Abu Maghly said that his report covered the nature of these Israeli acts and their impact on health provision and the capacity of the Palestinian Ministry of Health to deliver basic medical services to the community.
The separation wall, closures, road-blocks and other Israeli-imposed restrictions on free movement has a major impact on patients and their ability to attend medical centres for treatment. Racist pass and residence laws make it very difficult for Palestinians to attend the six hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem. Abu Maghly thanked his colleagues for their support, but stressed that material support should be co-ordinated with the Palestinian Ministry of Health to maximise effectiveness.
The Minister added that the meeting dealt with general issues related to many diseases, especially swine flu, in addition to the development of health education. It also discussed the mechanisms for health expenditure and investigated new resources for health spending, as well as the general health situation in Palestine.