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4 Gaza hospitals shut down as fuel crisis deepens

A group of protesters hold banners during a demonstration demanding opening of a new hospital in Rafah, Gaza on January 3, 2017 [Abed Rahim Khatib/ Anadolu Agency]
A group of protesters hold banners during a demonstration demanding opening of a new hospital in Rafah, Gaza on January 3, 2017 [Abed Rahim Khatib/ Anadolu Agency]

Four hospitals in the besieged Gaza Strip have shut down as a result of the ongoing fuel crisis in the enclave, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) announced today.

In a press release, the NGO said the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza yesterday said that it has been forced to close Abu Yousef Al Najjar Hospital in Rafah, Beit Hanoun Hospital, Al Dorra Pediatric Hospital and the Mental Health Hospital, both in Gaza City. The move followed the announcement of a breakdown in the existing agreements for the purchasing of fuel from Israel by the Palestinian Authority.

Read: Electricity crisis leads Gaza hospitals to ‘reduce services’

Cuts to x-rays, specialist scans, sterilisation and other services had been made previously, as MEMO has previously reported, and further cuts are highly likely. Primary health care clinics currently remain open but without recourse to expensive-to-run generators.

All patients are now being affected but we fear mostly for anyone needing emergency or intensive care, dialysis and newborn babies

said Fikr Shalltoot, MAP’s director of programmes in Gaza.

“These hospitals are our only option for life-saving treatment, due to the blockade and closure. Unless this crisis is resolved immediately we will start to see widespread and severe deterioration in patient health and in all health services.”

OCHA announced yesterday that it had secured emergency funding to help support essential services, but called upon the Israeli and Palestinian authorities as well as the international community to protect the provision of critical, basic services to people in Gaza.

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