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Intense violence against health workers persisted in 2016—and accountability for the attacks remains inadequate or non-existent. Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, discusses findings in the coalition's new report documenting attacks on health in 23 countries.
New report from the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition shows the extent and intensity of violence against health workers globally remains alarmingly high and calls on the UN Security Council and countries to take concrete steps toward preventing attacks and ending impunity.
According to coalition members MAP and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, more than a third of all patients applying to leave Gaza for treatment elsewhere in the oPt or abroad last year were denied or did not receive an answer in time for their appointment.
Coalition member Save the Children gave a statement supported by the coalition at the 140th session of the WHO Executive Board, encouraging the WHO to finalize its methods to collect data on attacks on health care, and stressing the importance of disseminating the data to Member States.
Coalition member Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) joins medical colleagues around the world in urging the Russian medical community to demand that its government ease the health care crisis in Syria. Health care continues to be used as a weapon of war: PHR has documented the deaths of 757 health workers and 382 attacks on medical facilities throughout the conflict.
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel reports on the increasing number of attacks against personnel and transport teams by Israeli Army and Border Police in Israel and Palestine and the Israeli authorities dismissal or delay in investigating these occurrences.
The last week has seen the surge of violence in Syria’s city of Aleppo, in which every hospital in the rebel-held east Aleppo has been damaged to the extent of putting them out of service (a statement confirmed by the World Health Organization), leaving more than 250,000 men, women, and children living in east Aleppo without access to health care. In light of this, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) reaffirms its firm stance against violations of International Humanitarian Law and attacks on health care workers, facilities, and systems.