Amidst the escalating conflict in Gaza, hospitals are facing severe challenges, including the inability to evacuate patients and the looming threat of running out of fuel for generators. Medical professionals are making the difficult decision to stay and care for their patients despite the risks.
- Medical Aid Restricted: Dr. Mohammed Qandeel from Nasser Hospital highlighted the lack of external medical aid due to closed borders and power outages.
- Evacuation Challenges: Dr. Hussam Abu Safiya, the head of pediatrics at Kamal Adwan Hospital, emphasized the dire situation of newborns in intensive care and the full capacity of hospitals.
- Fuel Crisis: Hospitals, including Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, are on the brink of running out of fuel for their generators, with UN monitors estimating a potential shutdown by Monday.
Doctors in the evacuation zones have expressed their concerns about relocating patients. The decision to stay is driven by the commitment to their patients, especially those in critical condition. Dr. Hussam Abu Safiya stated that evacuating would mean the death of seven newborns in the intensive care unit at Kamal Adwan Hospital. The lack of available space in other hospitals further complicates the situation.
Post-evacuation orders, approximately 22 hospitals managed to move “mobile patients” to the southern parts of Gaza. However, Dr. al-Mandhari noted that a significant portion of the patients couldn’t be evacuated. Over 60% of the hospital beds in Gaza are located in the northern region. The situation is further exacerbated by patients dependent on ventilators and those with complex injuries. The imminent fuel shortage threatens to shut down entire hospital facilities, putting countless lives at risk.
Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, located in the heart of the evacuation zone, has become a refuge for many. Hospital officials estimate that around 35,000 individuals, including men, women, and children, have sought shelter within the hospital premises, hoping for protection from the ongoing conflict. Despite the overwhelming number of displaced individuals, the hospital continues to receive hundreds of wounded patients daily, as stated by the hospital director, Mohammed Abu Selmia.
|For Further Reading|
|Evacuation in Conflict Zones: Evacuating civilians and patients in conflict zones is a complex process. It requires coordination, resources, and safe routes to ensure the safety of evacuees. In many cases, hospitals become safe havens for civilians, as they are perceived as neutral grounds. However, this can also make them targets. The Geneva Conventions emphasize the protection of medical facilities and personnel in conflict zones. [Wikipedia]|
Why can’t patients be evacuated from the hospitals in Gaza?
Many hospitals in Gaza are in the evacuation zones, and relocating patients, especially those in critical condition, poses significant risks. Additionally, other hospitals are already at full capacity, leaving no space for additional patients.
What are the implications of running out of fuel for hospital generators?
Hospitals rely on generators to power essential medical equipment, especially during power outages. Running out of fuel would mean shutting down these life-saving devices, putting the lives of many patients in jeopardy.
How are medical professionals responding to the crisis?
Despite the challenges and risks, many doctors and medical staff have chosen to stay and care for their patients. They are working tirelessly to provide medical care amidst the conflict, even at the risk of their own lives.