Prehospital and Disaster Medicine

Special Report

State of Emergency Health in the Palestinian Territories

Raghu Venugopala1 c1, P. Gregg Greenougha2, Derek Ehrhardta2, Daksha Brahmbhatta2 and Fadia Oweisa3

a1 Royal College Emergency Medicine Program, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec Canada

a2 Center for Refugee and Disaster Response, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland USA

a3 CARE International West Bank/Gaza, Jerusalem, Israel

Abstract

The Palestinian emergency healthcare system faces numerous difficulties in its efforts to develop and improve patient care. The Emergency Medical Assistance Project, a four-year, emergency health capacity-building project, is described in this report. The factors contributing to the current lack of inhospital emergency care and the measures performed to improve the situation are highlighted. The authors surveyed 48 emergency healthcare providers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on key emergency care development indicators and compared the level of emergency health development with those of Israel and the United States using a model of structured development criteria. Survey results and project observations provide a basis for future recommendations in education and infrastructure.

(Received December 09 2005)

(Accepted April 21 2006)

(Revised August 01 2006)

Correspondence:

c1 McGill University Royal College Emergency Medicine Program Royal Victoria Hospital Room A4.62 687 Pine Avenue West Montreal, Quebec CANADA H3A 1A1 E-mail: rvenu@videotron.ca