Healthcare services at Al-Shifa Hospital, the main healthcare facility in the Gaza Strip, stopped yesterday for the first time since the medical facility was established in 1964 due to the ongoing strike by cleaning staff, Quds Press reported.
“If the disastrous health situation in Gaza is not resolved soon, hundreds of patients will die,” Director of Al-Shifa Hospital Medhat Abbas said.
Abbas added: “The healthcare services stopped after our staff were unable to carry out their jobs due to the accumulation of medical garbage at Al-Shifa and the other medical centres and clinics across the Gaza Strip. This led to an unhygienic work environment for both patients and staff.”
He also said that 200 scheduled surgeries were postponed for fear of contamination as a result of the accumulation of medical waste in the hospital rooms and departments.
We cannot force any of the medical workers to work at hospitals for two reasons: they have not been paid for months and the work environment is not safe
Abbas said that work had been reduced to the lowest capacity at the emergency departments, including intensive care units, surgical operation rooms, obstetrics ward and the special care baby unit.
Yesterday, doctors at Al-Shifa started a strike, protesting against the accumulation of medical garbage and used disposals inside the hospital.
Cleaners in medical centres in Gaza went on strike to demand their pay which has been outstanding for five months.
On Sunday the Ministry of Health warned that the strike would adversely affect 40 surgery rooms, 11 childbirth units, as well as 110 patients in intensive care unit, 113 infants in delivery units and 702 patients getting renal failure treatment.