MSF warns Gaza healthcare system ‘totally collapsed’

The Emergency Coordinator at Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Marie-Aure Perreaut, has warned that the Gaza healthcare system has now “completely collapsed”.

The organisation’s services in the war-torn enclave are extremely limited, She told Al-Jazeera from inside the Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza.

“The healthcare system is completely collapsed at the moment. It is difficult for us to keep up with the constant influx of the wounded,” she said.

“On top of this, it’s extremely difficult for the colleagues to be coming through the ER because they are the ones who are being wounded. Just about an hour ago, one of our colleagues came to the ER badly injured together with his family,” she continued, adding, “It is extremely traumatising.”

Perreaut also stated that many of the wounded are unable to access treatment because health centres are being ordered to evacuate and the roads are not safe to reach the available clinics.

The United Nations has also announced only 13 out of 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip are partially functional as Israeli occupation forces are targeting medical centers and staff amid heavily bombardment of the besieged territory.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report on Tuesday that the services provided to patients in operational hospitals are “limited” as they have run out of bed capacity.

“The two major hospitals in southern Gaza are operating at three times above their bed capacity while facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel,” the report noted, adding, “Only one of these hospitals is in the north.”

“[Bed] occupancy rates are now reaching 206 percent in inpatient departments and 250 percent in intensive care units. Additionally, these hospitals are providing shelter to thousands of displaced people,” it added citing data from the Gaza Ministry of Health.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza has said at least 18,205 Palestinians have been killed, and 49,645 injured in Gaza since 7 October.

It also noted that Israeli strikes have crippled 22 hospitals and 26 primary care centres,.

It added that 36 medical professionals remain detained by Israeli forces, including Muhammad Abu Salmiya, the director of Al-Shifa Hospital.

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