An evidence-based analysis of the nature and impact of Israeli public health policies practices in the West Bank and Gaza.
The incendiary claim that Israel has deliberately damaged the health of the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip is not evidence-based, argues Dr. David Stone. In fact, the opposite is true: the health of the Palestinians has improved steadily since 1967. Stone maps a cluster of changes – in demography, crude death rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, as well as maternal, perinatal, under-five mortality, immunisation coverage, nutrition and infant growth patterns, primary and secondary health care, and the Israeli influence on ‘the causes of the causes’ of ill health (housing, water, education, employment) – to show that Israeli policies have brought about measurable improvements in Palestinian health and welfare. This was achieved, in the face of formidable obstacles, by a variety of means including an outstanding child immunization programme, the launching of need-responsive innovations in primary care (crucially including maternal and child health services), a large hospital development programme, collaborative modes of working with Palestinian professionals, UNRWA and NGOs, and – arguably even more important – providing high quality training for doctors, nurses and other health providers in Israeli institutions thereby bringing modern standards to anaesthesia, renal dialysis, cardiac surgery and many other critically important fields.
Click to read Dr Stone’s paper in full: Has Israel damaged Palestinian health?