Despite being low on the MENA ranking, health in Palestine also has a few positive sides, like a moderate child mortality and fairly good doctor density. Information about Palestine is not really limited, but confusing. There are so many internationational organizations involved that it is nearly impossible to estimate actual health expenses.
Health services in Palestine are moulded on Israeli health services, and are of good quality, but the quantity is still less than what is necessary. All Palestinians have easy access to health services, but this is mostly because of the short distances in the Palestinian territories.
Gaza Strip and the West Bank have indepdent health care systems, causing duplication of services and increased costs. Only 2 out of 3 patients from the Gaza Strip referred to hospitals in West Bank receive permission to travel from Israeli side.
In the last 3 months of 2000, Israel blocked off roads between all cities and villages, making it difficult for many people to access health services.
Doctor density is very different between Gaza Strip and West Bank. Whereas there are 2.4 doctors to 1000 inhabitants on Gaza Strip, there are only 0.8 in West Bank. Also, considering that moving around West Bank is far more complicated than on the Gaza Strip, there is a dramatic difference here.
Many Palestinians receive specialized health treatment abroad, now in particular in Egypt and Jordan. Since January 2009, the Palestinian Authority stopped covering all expenses with medical care for Palestinians in Israeli hospitals, as a form of retaliation after the Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Hardship upon Palestinian territory has caused a deterioration of the primary health care network. UNRWA has since 2007 increased its activities to meet the need of Palestinians.
Restrictions on movement represents hardship for many in West Bank, those not living immediately near a health station or hospital.
Health conditions and diseases
In recent years, many Palestinians have lost satisfactory access to clean water and sanitation. 66% are not connected to a sewage network.
Palestine has a very high rate of malnutrition, affected 16% of the population.
About 10% of the population suffers from at least one dignosed chronic disease. Life styles in Palestine are generally unhealthy, with much tobacco smoking, little activity and unhealthy diet.
Immunization in Palesine is at an eccelent level, reaching 99% of the target groups. Hepatitis is a problem, whereas tuberculosis is very rare. Palestine is reported with a record-low rate AIDS, in 2009 only 3 or 4 cases.
Mental problems is higher in Palestine than the rest of the Middle East, passivity, sadness and feeling of fear and anxiety are very common. Research state that 51% of children do not want to participate in any activity, fear affects 61% and sadness 96% of the whole population.