Palestinian Authority healthcare system needs funding, doctors warn

Three doctors from Physicians for Human Rights, a private humanitarian group, said that the economic sanctions that Israel and the international community imposed on the Palestinian Authority after Hamas militants took power have forced Palestinian medical facilities to struggle just to provide emergency care.

Palestinian hospitals lack the needed medicines and medical supplies to perform elective procedures and are suffering a shortage of staff, who have not been paid for three months and are often stranded by lack of fuel, the rights group said.

Pharmacies have also run out of medicine, cancer patients are suffering from a lack of treatment and doctors have had to reduce the frequency of dialysis treatments, they said.

Dr. Yehie Schauer, a Palestinian doctor, warned there would be unnecessary deaths if the situation did not change soon. "If the health care sector collapses, then everything will collapse," he said.

The group said two patients have already died because of the crisis and hundreds of dialysis patients are in danger, the AP reports.