Red Cross: W. Bank health worse due to strike

November 15, 2006 19:18


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Hospitals in the West Bank are working at only one-fifth of their capacity, the international Red Cross said Wednesday, adding that a strike by government health workers had made matters worse. A lack of money sent to the Palestinian Authority - after the international community halted aid payments and Israel stopped turning over tax revenues - has had "a dramatic effect on medical services since the beginning of the year," the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement. Last week's strike by health workers made the medical situation worse, forcing all primary health care services to be suspended and all emergency rooms in government hospitals in the West Bank to close. "Only two days ago, a child suffering from acute fever was turned away by the local hospital," ICRC health coordinator Eileen Daly said. "The doctors and nurses, unpaid for months, were on strike. The mother spent all morning traveling to various clinics, only to find out she could not afford their fees. Her little girl died."

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