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Fuel, medicine 'crisis' in Gaza hospitals

Aug. 17, 2011 1:42 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 17, 2011 2:57 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Muhammad Al-Kashef, a health ministry official in Gaza, warned Tuesday of a crisis hitting the sector as medicine shortages have plagued the enclave for two months.

Al-Kashef said the ministry of health in Ramallah is largely responsible for the crisis after excluding Gaza from its legal share or 40 percent of supplies like medications and other consumables.

In the past three years, he said, Gaza has received about 30 percent of the overall budget for health services. In 2011, however, the crisis reached a peak despite advanced warning.

The ministry has announced a state of emergency and reduced health services such as dental clinics and children's centers, the official added.

Moussa As-Samak, head of administrative and financial affairs in the ministry, said there was also a crisis of fuel shortages and spare parts for generators.

The generators, which operate for 8 to 12 hours a day, need maintenance, he said.
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