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Hospitals in Gaza are about to buckle under new strain

One doctor at a hospital in Gaza described an endless influx of new patients who need emergency care.
Hospitals in Gaza are about to buckle under new strain
Posted at 6:53 PM, Oct 11, 2023

In cars and ambulances and on stretchers, wounded people are rushing every minute to a hospital in Gaza.

This is their only chance at survival in a territory where the outlook is grim. And hope is fleeting.

"The number of wounded has not stopped," said Professor Ghassan Abu Sitta, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Shifa Hospital. "As you've probably heard in the background, the bombing is still going on around the area of the hospital."

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are struggling to keep up as supplies dwindle and generators run out of fuel.

All of them are on pace to be out of fuel by the weekend.

Antibiotics and surgical supplies are all but gone now, too.

Doctors Without Borders says at the two hospitals it runs in Gaza, staff had no choice but to use three weeks' worth of emergency stock in just three days.

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"There are moments that kind of take your breath away," Sitta said. "You kind of feel winded when you see a beautiful young girl, the braids, the elastic hair band, the pink elastic hair band, as you're trying to clean the face and in your mind, go through your mind, just what are the steps you're going to need to do to try to put this back together again, and then you see this and you're reminded that this was someone's baby child."

At one hospital alone, 50 people were in line for the operating room, waiting for a chance to live. More are constantly arriving.

"My feeling is that the Palestinian health system has the rest of the week before it collapses," Sitta said.

Israel says it is doing what it can to avoid casualties and blames Hamas for using civilians as human shields.

Doctors are left to save as many lives as possible — even as the system around them collapses.

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