17 January '11
Gaza's health sector is on the verge of collapse due to a lack of medicine, a Gaza hospital director said Sunday.
Medhat Abbas, general director of the Ash-Shifa medical complex in Gaza City, said medical care must be separated from political disputes.
Gaza's Health Ministry has blamed its counterpart in Ramallah for a shortage of medicine in the Strip.
Bassem Naim, health minister in the Hamas-led government, said Thursday that Gaza was lacking about 40 percent of basic medicines and accused the Palestinian Authority of withholding key stocks.
PA Health Minister Fathi Abu Mughli immediately rejected the charge, and said the shortage was the result of "mismanagement" by the Hamas health ministry which he said had sacked 1,600 ministry of health employees and replaced them with people "with no experience in dealing with or storing medicine."
Gaza medical director Medhat Abbas said hundreds of patients were at risk due to the shortage of medicines, particularly those needing cancer treatment, dialysis and insulin.
As we've reported in the past, there is evidence that Hamas confiscates medicines meant for Gaza hospitals and sells them to pharmacies at a profit:
“They are as big harami as Dahlan,” he said, using the Arabic slang for “thieves”. “They used to be mujaheddin, but today they are fat millionaires with nice cars,” he added, pointing to his flat stomach. “Look, you can either be a millionaire or you can lead a resistance. But you if you take the medical aid sent by Europe to help the poor people of Gaza and sell it in your own pharmacies to make money for yourself and the government, you can’t have both.”
(Read full "Gaza, PA health ministries trade accusations")
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