Around 9,000 patients need emergency evacuation from Gaza — WHO

Some 9,000 patients in Gaza require evacuation for emergency care, with the war-torn Palestinian territory down to just 10 barely functioning hospitals, the head of the WHO has said.

“With only 10 hospitals minimally functional across the whole of Gaza, thousands of patients continue to be deprived of health care,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on X.

Before the war, Gaza had 36 hospitals, according to the WHO.

“Around 9,000 patients urgently need to be evacuated abroad for lifesaving health services, including treatment for cancer, injuries from bombardments, kidney dialysis and other chronic conditions,” he said.

That is up from 8,000 in the WHO’s previous assessment at the beginning of March.

Israel has been bombing Gaza without respite, damaging many healthcare facilities.

With only 10 hospitals minimally functional across the whole of #Gaza, thousands of patients continue to be deprived of health care.

Around 9,000 patients urgently need to be evacuated abroad for lifesaving health services, including treatment for cancer, injuries from…

— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 30, 2024

Evacuating critical patients

Violent ground combat has also been underway for weeks, sometimes around Gaza’s hospitals, which are also providing refuge for thousands who have lost their homes or fled the fighting.

Gaza is subject to an almost complete blockade, and NGOs and the United Nations accuse Israel of preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid needed by the 2.4 million inhabitants who are mostly massed in Rafah at the territory’s southern tip.

Israel has been pushing back on reports by the UN and NGOs that cumbersome Israeli inspections are blocking food and other essentials.

Israel’s relentless campaign has killed at least 32,705 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Tedros said that “so far, over 3,400 patients have been referred abroad through Rafah, including 2,198 wounded and 1,215 ill. But many more need to be evacuated.

“We urge Israel to speed up approvals for evacuations so that critical patients can be treated. Every moment matters.”

Before the war, 50 to 100 patients a day were transferred to occupied East Jerusalem or the occupied West Bank, half of them for cancer treatment.

(Source: TRT WORLD)