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Gaza lacks accountability for medical errors

A number of recent cases have shown that medical errors, often leading to the patient’s death, have gone without punishment in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian patients undergo kidney dialysis at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City September 12, 2013. Cairo closed the Rafah crossing completely on Wednesday after assailants crashed two explosive-laden cars into a security building adjacent to the border zone, killing six Egyptian soldiers. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, said 1,000 patients a month required medical care in Egypt and in other countries. Rafah's closure, he said, would also affect the import of medication and
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When Miriam al-Tawil, 75, entered the operating room in the Al-Aqsa Hospital in the central Gaza Strip Oct. 20 after breaking her left femur, she had no idea she would never return home. The medical staff had assured her family that it would be a simple procedure that would not take more than a couple of hours. However, four hours later, Miriam was transferred to the intensive care unit, where she went into a coma and later took her last breath. The doctors who had been present in the operating room turned off their mobile phones and disappeared.

This is how Ibrahim al-Tawil described what happened to his mother. He said, "We were shocked. All of the tests my mother had undergone before the operation confirmed that her heart was healthy and her blood pressure and blood-sugar levels were excellent. After we collected some information from the hospital, we learned that three medical errors had occurred. So we submitted a complaint."

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