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HEALTH IN OPT: POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS 18/4/06

A report of World Health Organization

Martedi' 18 Aprile 2006

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

Possible consequences on the health sector due to the reduction of support to the public services

1. SCENARIO

Expected scenario in case of donors cutting budgetary support to the PA and Israeli suspension of VAT transfer.

§ MoH acute financial crisis, salaries will not be paid to a certain proportion of MoH staff, and medical supply will be in shortage. § Rapid decline of the public health system towards a possible collapse.§ Shift of control and management of health service system away from the public sector to NGOs, UN system and the private sector.§ No access -or limited access- to preventive programs and curative services for an important part of the population, particularly for the poor (1,564,137, 43% of total population) .


2. CONSEQUENCES ON HEALTH AND THE HEALTH SYSTEM

A WHO analytical framework for health priorities has been used, to analyze the possible consequences of the described scenario .

A. CONSEQUENCES ON THE HEALTH SYSTEM

1. Governance

- Paralysis of the MoH, or an MoH less capable of developing health policy, regulatory and coordination related functions.
- Increased fragmentation of the health system resulting from lack of homogeneity of standards and protocols, which will produce inequities in the access to health services.

2. Health care financing

- Lack or decreased amount of funds to cover MoH needs, disruption or reduced capacity in public health financing.
- Salaries of the civil servants (57% of all health workers) not paid or increased difficulties in paying them .
- Large absenteeism among public sector health staff, increased drain of MoH professionals to NGO and private sector.
- Severe shortage of drugs and medical supplies .
- Increased proportion of health financing through user charges, as a consequence of increased use of private providers.

3. Resource generation

- Training and capacity building activities suspended.
- Maintenance, rehabilitation and development of health facility network equipment and infrastructure suspended.

4. Service provision

- Breakdown of more than half of total PHC centers (56.5% of all PHC facilities are MoH run), due to irregular or non-attendance of health staff, and to lack of drugs and supply.
· Drastic reduction of service availability and accessibility
· Efficiency and quality compromised
· Equity compromised
· Reduced sustainability


B. CONSEQUENCES ON THE HEALTH PROGRAMMES

1. Preventive and promotive programs

413 PHC centers (357 in the WB and 56 in Gaza) and 140 to 252 maternal and child health clinics (208 in WB and 44 in Gaza) will be affected, leading to an important or drastic reduction of their service provision capacity towards their closure.

Programs likely to be affected (numbers refer to 2004 data):
· Immunization: 65,796 children (35% of the children in Gaza and 85% of the children in the WB) were immunized in the MoH facilities.
· Supplementation: 63,736 children (72.8% and 47.9% of the children 3weeks -12 months in the WB and Gaza respectively) received Vitamin A and D supplementation. In addition, 79,037 pregnant women (78.9% of all pregnant women in the WB and 71.8% in Gaza) received iron supplements .
· Growth monitoring: 65,796 children receive monitoring.
· Antenatal and postnatal services: services received by 90,409 women (96.5% of all pregnant women) and 31,263 (33.5% of all pregnant women) respectively, received ante-natal and post-natal care mainly through the MoH MCH centers .
· Delivery services: 59,731 deliveries (55.2% of total deliveries) occurred in MoH hospitals and clinics in 2004.
· Health education and promotion

2. Curative and rehabilitative programs

Reduction or closure of secondary and tertiary level curative and rehabilitation care in MoH hospitals.

Services likely to be affected:
· Maternity: 47% of maternity beds are located in MoH hospitals. In 8 (over 15) districts, 100% of maternity facilities are from MoH.
· General hospitals: 61% of general hospital beds are located in MoH hospitals (66% of internal medicine beds, 71.3% of pediatric beds and 58% of the surgical beds are located in MoH hospitals) . No general hospital beds are present in 5 districts.
· Other hospital services :
o Admissions: 278,839 patients (7.67% of the total population) were admitted to the MoH general hospitals; 8,732 admissions to the emergency hospitals and 879 to the mental hospitals.
o Out-patients: 751,988 patients (20.67% of the total population) benefited from the MoH out-patient departments.
o Surgical operations: 72.4% were performed in the MoH hospitals.
o 482 patients are on regular hemodialysis in the MoH hospitals.
· Tertiary care services:
Tertiary care services are provided in two MoH hospitals in Gaza and the WB. The majority of patients in need of tertiary care are referred to the non- MoH hospitals in Gaza and the West Bank or abroad to Israel, Egypt or Jordan, and are financially covered by the MoH. In 2004, 31,744 patients were in need of tertiary care services that are not available in the MoH hospitals.
· Emergency services: 976,400 patients (26.84% of the total population) received emergency services in MoH hospitals.

Proportion of public health services versus other health providers

* The MoH also operates 80 level-I PHC centers in West Bank.
** Rest 25% maternity beds are in private maternity hospitals
*** +11% GPs with Military Services




C. CONSEQUENCES ON SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH
Poverty
Unemployment will increase and purchasing capacity, including purchasing of health services, will decrease. Further deterioration of the situation of an already vulnerable population is expected .
Environment
The overall environmental situation will be degraded. Sanitation, drainage and cleaning services will be hampered, increasing the possibility of more infections and infestations. 72.9% of the total population depends on the public water network, 50.9% depend on the public sewage disposable system .
Gender
228,677 non-refugee women of child bearing age (57.9% of total Palestinian women) will be more vulnerable, due to reduced capacity of ante-natal care services and safe-delivery facilities .
Early life
Reduced ante-natal care, safe delivery services and post-natal care may lead to increased health related susceptibility for infants. Levels of other services such as immunization, micronutrient supplementation and health promotion activities will also determine the level of health risks.
Stress
Stress levels (frustration, helplessness, hopelessness) will increase, resulting in increased physical and psycho-social problems and social unrest.
Social support
Difficulties in the implementation of social policies due to the under-funding of public services.
Transportation
The population will have reduced access to the transportation due to the economic problems.
Food
Increasing nutritional problems.


Old Nablus Road – Sheikh Jarrah – P. O. Box 54812 – Jerusalem
Tel: +972 (0)2 540 0595 Fax: +972 (0)2 581 0193 Email: info@who-health.org Website: www.who.ch/eha



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