Medical supply shortage in Gaza threatens lives of thousands

Saleh Naami , Wednesday 8 Jun 2011

A severe shortage of medical supplies in Gaza threatens the lives of thousands of patients

The Palestinian government in Gaza has decided to cut five per cent of its employees’ salaries in order to be able to purchase drugs and medical supplies amid the worst shortage of medicine seen in Gaza in the past five years.

Health Minister in Ismail Haniyah’s Gaza government Bassem Naeem announced that 178 types of medicine and 190 important pieces of medical equipment are absent while the rest are close to depletion.

In his meeting with representatives of donor countries and philanthropic organizations in Gaza, Naeem said that 50 per cent of medical reserves have run out, noting that the danger lies in that most of the depleted supplies are those needed for chronic and urgent cases.

Naeem mentioned that the situation threatens infants in particular and thousands of patients suffering from cancer, renal, blood, heart, optics, neurology and psychiatric diseases.

Naeem clarified that the lack of sufficient medical equipment led hospitals to halt all cardiac catheterizations. He stressed that surgical services have been decreased to a minimum capacity in all hospitals as a result of the tragic circumstances medical facilities are going through in Gaza, which may lead to a complete halt of medical facilities in the coming days and threaten the lives of those awaiting major surgery.

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