Israeli authorities delayed or denied two out of every five patients in the Gaza Strip access to medical care outside of the besieged coastal enclave over the month of July, the World Health Organization (WHO) has claimed. During that period, two Palestinians died while waiting receive permission to leave the blockaded territory for treatment.
In its monthly report on the referral of Gaza patients, the WHO said that 42.6 percent of patients saw their permits either delayed or denied — 45 out of the total 1,847 applications were denied, while 742 were delayed with no response from Israel by the time of the patient’s hospital appointment.
The majority of permits for patients companions were either delayed or denied in June, with just 47.7 percent of the 2,013 applicants getting approval to accompany their loved ones to the hospital. The WHO also reported an increase in July in the number of referrals issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health for Gaza patients, which in June reached its lowest number since WHO started to monitor referrals in 2009, marking an 80 percent drop from the monthly average in 2016.