Gaza - Health Care

Health Care

Al-Shifa Hospital ("the Cure") founded in the Rimal District by the British Mandate government in the 1940s. Housed in an army barracks, it originally provided quarantine and treatment for febrile diseases. When Egypt administered Gaza, this original department was relocated and al-Shifa became the city's central hospital. When Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip after occupying it in the 1956 Suez Crisis, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser had al-Shifa hospital expanded and improved. He also ordered the establishment of a second hospital in the Nasser District with the same name. In 1957, the quarantine and febrile disease hospital was rebuilt and named Nasser Hospital. Today, al-Shifa remains Gaza's largest medical complex.

Throughout the late 1950s, a new health administration, Bandar Gaza ("Gaza Region"), was established and headed by Haidar Abdel-Shafi. Bandar Gaza rented several rooms throughout the city to set up government clinics that provided essential curative care.

The Ahli Arab Hospital, founded in 1907 by the Church Missionary Society (CMS), was destroyed in World War I. It was rebuilt as the Southern Baptist Hospital in the 1950s. In 1982, the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem took leadership and the original name was restored. Al-Quds Hospital, located in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood and managed by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, is the second largest hospital in Gaza.

In 2007, hospitals experienced power cuts lasting for 8–12 hours daily and diesel required for power generators was in short supply. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the proportion of patients given permits to exit Gaza for medical care decreased from 89.3% in January 2007 to 64.3% in December 2007.

In 2010, a team of doctors from Al-Durrah Hospital in Gaza spent a year of training at the cystic fibrosis clinic at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. Upon their return to Gaza, a cystic fibrosis center was established at Al-Durrah, although the most serious cases are referred to Hadassah.

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