Access to Medicines in Palestine

One third of the world population does not have regular access to essential medicines and this number is on the rise.


A wave of oncology patients in dire need of a wide array of treatments in Gaza is surfacing and they are facing obstacles in accessing the medicines and treatment they need. When medical treatment is unavailable in Gaza, patients must apply and obtain exit permits from the Israeli authorities to leave Gaza and receive appropriate treatment elsewhere, including in specialist Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem. Unless they are able to leave Gaza, they cannot access the treatment they need. Physicians for Human Rights Israel, an Israeli human rights NGO, has helped over 130 female cancer patients in the past two years whose requests have been either delayed or significant delayed, impacting their recovery.


The Right to Health encompasses the availability of an extensive set of factors that enable the provision of that right: physical accessibility of hospitals and other treatment centers, availability of healthcare services capable of providing support and affordable medications and treatments.


Access to medicine and treatment  is a central part of the right to health. Without appropriate medication and treatment, most diseases cannot be cured. The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations condemns all acts and violations that inhibit patients from accessing the appropriate healthcare they need and calls on multiple stakeholders to join forces to ensure that sick populations are treated with the quality healthcare they not only deserve but have due rights in receiving.


The Federation would like to call on governments, health ministries, the healthcare sector and civil society organizations to collaborate on an international, regional and national level to pioneer the needed research to assess the needs of the sick and develop solutions to improve their access to medicine.


The Federation would like to call on governments to adhere to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and emphasizes that the Right to Health cannot be withdrawn from any human being under any circumstance. The Federation would like to strongly demand, from governments, to provide healthcare services encompassing access to medicine which includes safe access to hospitals as well. In this specific case, we call on all involved parties to ensure that medical patients receive speedy exit permits to access treatment outside of the Gaza Strip.


In addıtıon, the IFMSA would like to call on CSOs to advocate for the right to health and the right to access healthcare in each and every circumstance regardless of the status, nationality, race or color of the patient.


Lastly, the Federation would like to remind the healthcare sector and specifically medical students worldwide, of the need to stand up and advocate for all types of patients – despite any political, social or cultural differences – and ensure their access to the needed medicines and treatments.

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