Thursday, April 3

Disease does not discriminate

Two months ago my friend Mariam, a young Palestinian women from the territories, needed urgent medical care.
She does not have a visa to say in Israel and no medical insurance. So she went to the free clinic run by "Doctors for Human Rights" in the area of the central bus station in Tel Aviv.
She received excellent medical care by the very friendly staff.
Over the years i have referred and accompanied more than a few friends in need of medical care to this wonderful clinic.
The clinic is of major importance to some of the most weakened communities in the country: migrant labourers, visa-less and insurance-less people, victims of trafficking in human beings and of course, refugees, many of them , over a hundred per day.

The clinic was closed about 2 weeks ago.
The relatively small clinic, run by a volunteer medical staff can no longer cope with the ever increasing flow of refugees in need of urgent medical care. They do not have the ability to treat so many people per day; there are not enough professional staff, equipment, rooms, medicine etc.
so instead volunteers accompany the ill refugees to the emergency wards of the hospitals in the area.
The health of so many people is not a problem to be taken care of by an NGO, responsibility should be taken by the government.

Yet the ministry of health refused to take the responsibility on itself, even in such cases as are demanded by international conventions signed by the the state of Israel.

The number of people lacking medical care in the country is growing.
This is NOT a matter of money, but of human rights. Diseases can attack anyone, they do not discriminate between skin-colour, race, ethnic group or religion. The ministry of health quite obviously does.
And that scares me. And angers me.

1 comment:

Shai said...

Yudit, great blog! Please check out my blog: where you will find some interesting information about a peace / health project in the Palestinian village of Barta'a.
Best wishes,