Palestinians and Israeli hospitals

Israel tries to balance its security concerns with the welfare of the Palestinians, and is especially sensitive to the medical needs of Palestinians.

According to IDF guidelines, any Palestinian in need of urgent medical care is allowed passage through checkpoints. The severity of the medical condition is determined by the checkpoint commander, who is to make decisions in favour of the Palestinian if there is any doubt.

Palestinians are also allowed to enter Israel for routine medical care unless there is a security concern. Even then, Palestinians can appeal decisions and are also offered other options, such as transfer to neighbouring states.

Data published in the World Health Organization’s February 2012 report reflect efforts of both the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Israeli government to facilitate passage of Palestinian patients from the Gaza Strip to Israeli hospitals.

According to the data published in the report, 91.5% of the requests for medical treatment at Israeli hospitals were approved and carried out, and 7.2% are currently under review. The Israeli government treats these cases with importance and urgency, as reflected by the statistics.
Subsidy for these transfers was provided by a variety of organizations including the Palestinian Health Ministry, the Physicians for Human Rights organization, the Peres Center for Peace and others. Some medical specialties are not offered at Gaza Strip hospitals and thus the patients are treated at hospitals in Israel or other neighbouring countries.

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