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JMA says field hospital for Gaza in the works as healthcare system on verge of collapse

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Oct 22,2023 - Last updated at Oct 23,2023

Palestinians evacuate a wounded man after an Israeli strike near an United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday (AFP photo by Mahmud Hams)


AMMAN — The Jordan Medical Association (JMA) has announced its preparations to establish a field hospital at a cost of JD2 million for rapid deployment to Gaza, with the aim of aiding the "collapsing" medical sector in Gaza.

These efforts are taking place at a time when the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip has declared a crisis. Hospitals are facing shortages in clinical, pharmaceutical and fuel resources due to the escalated Israeli bombardment.

Despite nearly 3 per cent of the required medical aid having departed from the Egyptian side of Rafah crossing, intended for delivery to Gaza, Palestinian authorities have expressed concerns that the exclusion of fuel from humanitarian aid continues to endanger the lives of patients and the wounded, as well as the continuity of life-saving services. This is because Gaza's hospitals have depleted their resources entirely due to the absence of even the most basic urgent medical supplies, including fuel.

Simultaneously, the Ministry of Health in Gaza announced the closure of four hospitals and the bombing of Baptist Hospital, as the number of infections among Gazans has exceeded 11,000.

The Gaza health authorities have reported that hospital bed occupancy in the Gaza Strip has exceeded 150 per cent, forcing hospitals to set up multiple tents to accommodate the wounded and patients, as reported by Al Mamlaka TV.

Israeli violations against medical teams have resulted in the martyrdom of 51 healthcare workers and the injury of 87 others, according to Al Mamlaka.

“The total casualties of the Israeli aggression have risen to 4,385 martyrs, including 1,756 children and 967 women, in addition to 13,561 wounded individuals. Seventy per cent of the casualties of the Israeli aggression are children, women, and the elderly,” Al Mamlaka added.

Ziad Al Zu’bi, the president of JMA, told The Jordan Times that the association is in contact with various international companies specialised in field hospitals to purchase and transport the facility. It is expected to be operational within 10 days, with an estimated cost that may reach up to JD2 million.

“This hospital will be operational during and after the conflict,” Zu’bi added.

The JMA president emphasised that a total of 400 doctors have volunteered to go to Gaza to provide medical care to the wounded, in addition to hundreds of general practitioners. However, the lack of authorisation to enter the region with aid and medical teams is currently a major obstacle.

Moreover, a total of 20 Jordanian doctors have recently departed to Egypt as part of the “Miles and Smiles” campaign, and they are currently awaiting permission to bring in medical aid and join the medical teams working in Gaza’s hospitals, Zu’bi said. 

He added that the association is in close communication with various international organisations, the Arab Medical Union in Cairo and the Egyptian Doctors’ Union to facilitate the delivery of aid and the procurement and transfer of a fully equipped field hospital to Gaza. 

“The field hospital will be strategically situated in a nearby area of the centre to ensure rapid access for the wounded and medical cases,” said Zu’bi.

He explained that medical professionals will work in shifts at this hospital, serving as a complement to the Jordanian field hospital administered by the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army.

Zu’bi emphasised the critical need for medicines, medical supplies, surgical expertise, nursing staff and support services in Gaza’s hospitals. He noted that the donations received by the association will be allocated for this purpose.

“Some medical supplies and necessities will be procured from Egypt, but the primary focus remains on ensuring their timely delivery to Gaza, in addition to providing essential food aid to Gazans,” Zu’bi added. 

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