Thursday, July 18, 2024

Al-Shifa Medical Complex… the largest hospital encyclopedia in the Gaza Strip


Al-Shifa Campus is a government campus affiliated with the Palestinian Ministry of Health. It is the largest health institution providing medical services in the Gaza Strip. It was established in 1946 and was subject to occupation in 1967 and then to the Palestinian Authority after the Oslo Accords. It has grown over time to become the largest medical complex that includes 3 specialized hospitals and employs 25% of the hospital staff in the entire Gaza Strip.

on the site

Al-Shifa Medical Complex is located at a crossroads in the central western part of Gaza City, overlooking Is al-Din al-Qassam and al-Wahda Streets. Near it is the Al-Shifa Mosque, and the area of ​​the complex is 45 thousand square meters.


Construction of the hospital In the mid-20th century, specifically in 1946, the British Mandate established the hospital in Gaza City, which in its initial form consisted of small kiosks aimed at providing medical services to patients.

After the end of the British Mandate, the hospital merged with Egyptian administration. During that time, its departments expanded and its number of beds increased, and it continued under Egyptian administration for nearly two decades.

Children’s nursery at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza (Al-Jazeera)

In 1967, the hospital joined the Israeli occupation after capturing the area following the June setback, which later decided to rebuild it like most Israeli hospitals.

The hospital now has more rooms for patients and each room can accommodate a maximum of 3 patients, but this number was small compared to the area of ​​the hospital, especially since most of the hospitals that exist now did not exist at that time. They remained the same in the eighties and mid-nineties.

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At the beginning of the first intifada (December 1987), the hospital’s role emerged as a primary point of conflict between members of the army and Palestinians. The first conflict of the intifada occurred when Palestinian students stormed it to protest the occupation. It was an army assembly center, and during the Intifada Israeli soldiers tried to steal the bodies of Palestinian martyrs from the hospital.

When the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel signed the Oslo Accords in 1993, the hospital became part of the administration of the Palestinian Authority. It has since received Japanese and European support for development, construction of new buildings, and expansion of rooms. A number of developmental processes have transformed it into a medical complex that includes multiple specialty hospitals.

In 2023, the exterior structure of the hospital required renovation. Parts of the concrete fell from the roofs and walls, and the inability to preserve the materials as a result of the blockade and lack of financial support meant that the restoration process was not completed.

Dialysis Department at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza Strip (Al-Jazeera)

Departments of Medical Campus

Today, Al-Shifa campus has 3 specialized hospitals:

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital with nursery department for premature babies.
  • Internal Medicine Hospital.
  • Surgical Hospital.
  • In addition to the emergency department, the intensive care unit, radiology, blood bank, planning and others.

The hospital provides its services to residents of Gaza City in addition to receiving cases from other cities where specialized hospitals are not available.

It provides various therapeutic and health services and activities to a large number of residents. For example, in 2020, the hospital provided treatment services to 460,000 citizens, and health services to about 250,000 citizens in the emergency department. Annually 25,000 surgeries and 69 operations were performed there. One dialysis session and 13,000 births.

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Workers on premises

The number of staff at Al-Shifa Medical Complex is one-fourth of the number of staff at all hospitals in the sector, as it employs approximately 1,500 staff, including more than 500 doctors, 760 nurses and 32 pharmacists. Administrative staff.

His role in wars

The al-Shifa compound plays an important role in the fighting in the Gaza Strip, as it receives and performs surgery on wounded people.

In the 2023 Al-Aqsa flood battle, the hospital’s capacity reached 164%. Casualties were heavy and continuous as a result of continuous Israeli bombardment, and shortages of fuel and medicine, large numbers of wounded, and the arrival of large numbers of wounded caused the hospital to suffer a disastrous situation. Also, fatigue affected the medical staff as a result of continuous work.

Additionally, a large number of journalists and media professionals congregate at Al-Shifa Medical Complex, considering it to be a very secure location and easily accessible to other areas and neighborhoods. It is easy for them to hide the phenomenon by being close to the medical personnel and the cases being treated.

The hospital plays an important role in sheltering families as citizens and families resort to it due to violent bombings of apartments and houses, and they sleep in outdoor courtyards, and in the 2021 occupation, the complex has prepared tents to provide shelter to displaced families. Backyard.

During the Al-Aqsa floods in 2023, more than 35,000 civilians were displaced to seek shelter from raids targeting their homes, and families spent the night in hospital corridors, rooms and courtyards.

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A massacre at the gates of the medical complex

On the third Friday of November 2023, an attack targeting ambulances in front of the gate of Al-Shifa Medical Complex resulted in the death and injuries of dozens of civilians. The injured included doctors, paramedics, injured persons and civilians. With the injured crowding around the ambulances at the entrance to the compound.

The Israeli military admitted to targeting ambulances at the gates of the medical complex.

Images sent by news agencies show civilians, injured, doctors and paramedics being targeted.

The raid was previously targeted near Al-Shifa Medical Complex on October 9, 2023, causing damage to the nursery area of ​​the complex.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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