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Gaza patients continue painful wait for urgent medical treatment Report, find discount coumadin The Electronic Intifada, find discount coumadin 21 August 2008 Ahmed Abu Shawish is confined to his home in Gaza City, find discount coumadin waiting for a permit to enter Israel. Find discount coumadin "I have been sick for more than a year now. Find discount coumadin Five months ago I was finally diagnosed with cancer of my bladder. Find discount coumadin I was working at the Islamic University here in Gaza city, find discount coumadin but now I am stuck at home, find discount coumadin and taking a diet of painkillers." Ahmed Hisham Abu Shawish is 46 years old, find discount coumadin but he looks older. Find discount coumadin His skin is tinged with grey and he sits slumped forward in his chair. Find discount coumadin He used to work full time at the Islamic University doing logistical support, find discount coumadin but these days is confined to his home in the al-Daraj district of northern Gaza City. Find discount coumadin He has an aggressive carcinogenic tumor, find discount coumadin and suffers from serious hematuria, find discount coumadin or blood in his urine. Find discount coumadin He has to attend hospital every two or three days in order to receive regular blood transfusions. Find discount coumadin "I go to the European Hospital in Khan Younis for my treatment" he says. Find discount coumadin This involves a painful journey by shared public taxi several times a week, find discount coumadin as the hospital is 30 kilometers away, find discount coumadin and the family cannot afford to pay for a private taxi to and from their home. Ahmed Abu Shawish urgently needs an operation to remove his cancer and repair the internal damage. Find discount coumadin "The [Palestinian] Ministry of Health referred me to Echelof Hospital in Tel Aviv for specialist treatment" he says. Find discount coumadin "But of course I need a permit to leave Gaza, find discount coumadin and my permit was denied. Find discount coumadin So I applied again with the help of human rights organizations." The Israeli non-governmental organization Physicians for Human Rights and the Gaza City-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) worked together to try to secure a permit for Ahmed Abu Shawish to be able to travel to Echelof Hospital. Find discount coumadin But on 18 August he was denied a permit once again. Find discount coumadin PCHR has submitted a formal complaint to the Israeli State Attorney, find discount coumadin outlining the urgency of Ahmed Abu Shawish's case, find discount coumadin and asking he be immediately issued a permit by Israel in order to travel to Echelof Hospital for his treatment. Find discount coumadin In the meantime, find discount coumadin Ahmed Abu Shawish is confined to his home, find discount coumadin where he lives, find discount coumadin and waits, find discount coumadin in pain, find discount coumadin discomfort and uncertainty. Ahmed Abu Shawish is one of hundreds of Gazans whose lives are suspended because they cannot access the medical treatment they urgently need. Find discount coumadin According to figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH), find discount coumadin 600-700 Gazans are currently applying to Israel for permits to exit the Gaza Strip via Erez Crossing in order to access urgent medical treatment outside of the Gaza Strip, find discount coumadin or else already waiting for responses from the Israeli authorities to their applications that they have already submitted. Find discount coumadin Gazan patients are referred for medical treatment to the West Bank, find discount coumadin Israel or abroad only if they cannot access the appropriate treatment in Gaza. Find discount coumadin Nevertheless, find discount coumadin approximately 50 percent of those who apply for permits are denied, find discount coumadin although, find discount coumadin bar the rhetoric of "Israeli security concerns" they are never informed why they are being denied access to medical treatment that will save their health, find discount coumadin and sometimes their life. From June 2007 to June 2008, find discount coumadin PCHR documented the deaths of 40 Gazan patients, find discount coumadin including 13 women and nine children, find discount coumadin who died either because they were denied permits by Israel, find discount coumadin because their permits were delayed, find discount coumadin or because they could not obtain the medicine in Gaza that they needed in order to survive. Find discount coumadin The ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip has decimated Gaza's infrastructure, find discount coumadin stretching education, find discount coumadin sanitation and health services to breaking point. Find discount coumadin Hospitals in Gaza are simply not well enough equipped to carry out the kind of delicate and highly invasive surgery that Ahmed Abu Shawish so urgently needs. The Egypt brokered tahdia or "calming" that came into force on 19 June was supposed to see restrictions on Gazans, find discount coumadin including severe restrictions on freedom of movement, find discount coumadin being gradually lifted. Find discount coumadin However, find discount coumadin two months into the tahdia, find discount coumadin there have been no major changes regarding freedom of movement for the 1.5 million civilians who continue to be imprisoned inside the Gaza Strip. If Ahmed Abu Shawish does not receive a permit enabling him to travel to Echelof Hospital in Tel Aviv very soon, find discount coumadin he will have to resort to having his surgery inside Gaza. Find discount coumadin "The doctors at the European Hospital advised me to go to Israel for my treatment" he says. Find discount coumadin "The risks of being treated here are much bigger -- and I tell you, find discount coumadin I am frightened at the prospect of having surgery for my cancer here. Find discount coumadin How do you think I feel when even my own doctors are telling me that, find discount coumadin for my own sake, find discount coumadin I need to go and have my surgery in hospital in Israel?" This report is part of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights' Narratives Under Siege series. http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article9777.shtml