Days of Palestine, Gaza Strip –Healthcare system in Gaza Strip is on verge of collapse, warned Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza on Monday.
Spokesperson of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidra said: “Al-Shifa Hospital, Kamal Adwan Hospital, European-Gaza Hospital and Rantisi Hospital might stop offering services due to several reasons.”
Al-Qidra added: “The current situation is the worst since the ministry of health was created in the Gaza Strip. Fuel and electricity crisis, as well as budget and medicine cuts imposed by Fatah government in Ramallah, West Bank, are the main causes of the problem.”
The Gaza Strip, which receives its electricity from the Israeli occupation, Egypt and its sole power plant, has been struggling to produce enough power since 2006.
Hospitals depend on private generators in addition to the power grid, but Israeli nine-year blockade has severely limited the supply of fuel to the coastal enclave.
The healthcare crisis been exacerbated by the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, Palestinian Authority (PA) cuts, as well as three devastating Israeli offensives since 2008.
Regarding the PA cuts of medical supplies, the World Health Organisation said there is a chronic shortage of pharmaceutical supplies and medicine in Gaza.
Meanwhile, Israeli military offensive on Gaza last summer damaged or destroyed 17 out of 32 hospitals as well as 50 out of 97 primary health centres, according to a UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs report last September.
Six hospitals were forced to close during the conflict and four primary health centres were totally destroyed, the UN added.
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The months following the war have seen further difficulties, with hospital staff, including doctors and nurses, protesting salaries unpaid by the PA.
Ministry staffs used to be paid by the Hamas-run government in Gaza, but following the formation of the National Unity Government last year, the staffs have not been paid. Hamas pays them from time to time.