Hospitals in Gaza may shut down shortly due to power shortage: health ministry

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-10 00:05:39|Editor: yan
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GAZA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza warned on Sunday that hospitals in the coastal enclave may close within days due to power shortage resulting from depletion of fuel to run alternative generators during power outage.

"Power generators of major hospitals in Gaza will stop in the coming few days because of the growing fuel shortage," Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the ministry, said in a statement.

Director of Beit Hanoun hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, Jamil Suleiman, said that the crisis threatens the work at his hospital, pointing out that a possible halt will deprive 350,000 people of service and health care.

"Austerity measures, like rescheduling fuel use and switching to smaller generators, were taken to avoid the crisis," Sulaiman said during a press conference held at the hospital headquarters.

He pointed out that the crisis has postponed surgeries and hindering laboratory tests, blood tests, radiology and support services such as laundry and sterilization services.

Suleiman urged all health workers and donors to take actions to provide sufficient energy to avoid the disruption of hospital services.

The United Nations called on Wednesday for urgent funding to provide essential services in the Gaza Strip as supplies have exhausted.

Gaza's hospitals usually need 450,000 liters of fuel a day to cover the eight to 12 hours of power outage. But the demand for fuel could double as the power outage can last as long as 20 hours in some areas.

The chronic energy crisis in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip has forced local authorities to adopt a rotation system, in which power is cut in some parts of the enclave to ensure supplies to other areas.

Currently, Israel provides Gaza with 120 megawatts of electricity while Egypt provides 32 megawatts.

On the other hand, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority accuses Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, of "fabricating and aggravating the crises" due to its inability to fully manage the area.