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Gaza healthcare crippled amid fuel shortages

The healthcare system in the besieged Gaza Strip has been crippled by a shortage of fuel for the generators that provide electricity for hospitals during the enclave's lengthy, daily power cuts, the Palestinian Ministry of Health revealed yesterday. The ministry called on the Arab and international communities to help urgently to boost fuel stocks in government hospitals and healthcare centres.

Electric generators enable hospitals to function fully for up to eight hours during the time of power outages. The health ministry said that it is expecting a severe crisis given the current fuel stocks in the territory's hospitals, noting that there have not been any agreements about receiving any other foreign grants.

Palestinians have been branching out to renewable energy sources to make up for the fuel shortages in the besieged Strip. Solar panels are seen being used on Gaza's hospitals.

Palestinians have been branching out to renewable energy sources to make up for the fuel shortages in the besieged Strip. Solar panels are seen being used on Gaza's hospitals.

Hospitals in Gaza consume 450,000 litres of fuel every month, distributed among 13 hospitals, when electricity shortages are "only" eight hours per day, said the ministry. If the length of power cuts increase, then fuel consumption increases, putting enormous pressure on supplies. Officials warned that the healthcare system is deteriorating beyond crisis level, especially for intensive care units, dialysis sections and blood banks, endangering patients' lives.

Read: Israeli airstrikes damage electricity supplies in Gaza

Last year, the government had to consider tough measures to redistribute resources to the more critically-needed healthcare assets across the Strip, forcing the ministry to halt operations in some of its hospitals and clinics. In some locations, only small generators have been running in the major healthcare centres to operate intensive care and other emergency equipment.

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