Days of Palestine

Sunday, January 29

Gaza’s largest hospital suspends surgeries due to cleaners’ strike

Days of Palestine -

Al-Shifa Hospital, largest medical complex in Gaza Strip, announced on Sunday that it was suspending all surgeries due to a cleaners’ strike over unpaid salaries.

“It has been decided to postpone all scheduled surgeries, including those for patients with tumors,” the hospital said, noting that the decision excluded “life-saving cases.”

The medical staff at Al-Shifa called on all relevant parties to work toward ending the strike of the cleaners immediately.

Spokesman of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidra warned that “the strike threatens patients’ and workers’ lives because of the dangerous accumulation of medical garbage in the hospital.”

It was the second time in recent weeks that the hospital cleaners in the Gaza Strip went on strike, the head of the cleaner companies’ federation Abdullah Ameera said.

Gaza has been under strict Israeli siege since mid-2007. The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Egypt are taking parts in the siege.

Israeli occupation does not allow hundreds of basic commodities into Gaza, the PA imposes punitive measures, including cuts of public servants’ salaries and Egypt closes Rafah Crossing, the main Gaza terminal to the world.

Suspension of work in the governmental health facilities will have serious repercussions on the lives of over 1,300 patients, including patients in intensive care units, surgical operation rooms, obstetrics ward and special care baby unit, nephrology patients, as well as surgical, internal medicine, cardiology and oncology departments.