RAMALLAH, January 26 (JMCC) - Shortages of essential drugs that have plagued the Gaza Strip are now spreading to the West Bank, reported
Medical Aid for Palestinians in an appeal Thursday.
The Palestinian Authority, which supplies medications and supplies to hospitals and clinics in both parts of the occupied territories, is facing a serious budget crisis due to donor shortfalls and other constraints.
This deficit and conflicts with authorities in Gaza, where the rival Hamas has been in control since 2007, have caused severe drug shortages in Gaza. The World Health Organization reports that in 2011 Gaza was supplied with only 41% of 480 drugs needed to keep essential healthcare units running.
In December, the international organization intervened to prevent the closing of the dialysis unit at Gaza's Shifa hospital. A two-week supply of filters was provided from the West Bank and more brought in from Egypt by aid organizations.
Gaza residents who become ill rely largely on local hospitals, as treatment in Israel requires a difficult-to-obtain permit and treatment in neighboring Egypt also requires coordination with authorities.
Medications have traditionally been more readily available in the West Bank, although MAP says the situation is reaching a crisis point, with drugs and medications falling below a one-month supply.