Middle East Monitor / November 11, 2019
More than 120 highly qualified Palestinian doctors emigrated from the Gaza Strip in 2018 and 2019, pushing the Ministry of Health to close medical departments in hospitals.
According to a report published by Amad.ps on Saturday, the Palestinian doctors who left their posts in Gaza highlighted the pressure of working under the 12-year Israeli siege imposed on Gaza.
On Facebook, Surgeon Adnan Radi wrote: “The first skilled and most qualified specialist of heart surgery Mohammad Nassar left Gaza, pushing us to close the Department of Cardiac Surgery.” He described this as a “catastrophe.”
Ahmed Shatat, an official at the doctors’ affairs division in Gaza hospitals, said doctors travel aboard to look for “better opportunities” because they “do not have regular salaries” in Gaza as a result of Israel’s actions.
“Qualified doctors do not feel they have a bright future that matches their qualifications in the besieged Gaza Strip where they have low and irregular salaries,” Shatat said.
He stated that the problem is not with the emigration of the new graduates, but of the “skilled doctors whose emigration poses a serious danger to the health care system.”
Journalist Sama Hassan wrote on her Facebook: “I do not expect doctors who leave Gaza to find a better life, but they would find a regular salary and have work security.”
She hailed the efforts of Gaza doctors but reiterated that they are looking for some kind of safety and stability.
“They have served patients and the wounded in the most difficult times,” she said, “but they have spent the best years of their life studying and getting the best skills and experience so they want to get some gains in order to have a secure and stable life for themselves and their families.”
Retired specialist of general health Yousef Musa said: “The emigration of skilled doctors is a dangerous indicator because the Ministry of Health is forced to look for alternatives.”
He noted that the sole alternative is treatment abroad and this is very expensive and exhausts a large per cent of its budget.