Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
Dr Nick Maynard/PA Dr Nick Maynard, right, and Professor Bijen Patel outside a hospital in Gaza
# Gaza
Cancer patients unable to get treatment as bombs hit Gaza, English doctor says
At least 33 Palestinians have died, according to Gaza’s health ministry, while one woman was killed on Israeli territory.

AN NHS DOCTOR has described worrying scenes in Gaza as “hundreds” of cancer patients go for days without treatment due to ongoing fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant groups.

Nick Maynard, a consultant surgeon for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, travelled to the Palestinian city for three days of keyhole surgeries on cancer patients along with fellow NHS doctor Bijendran Patel, from the Royal London Hospital, at the end of last week.

The two doctors had planned to work Monday to Wednesday, performing operations on patients in Gaza, but were only able to work for a day before fighting broke out.

A new ceasefire proposal was circulated late Friday by Egypt, which has been mediating between the two sides, after a previous bid fell through, a Palestinian source said.

Israel’s anti-aircraft defences went into action today after a barrage of rocket fire from Gaza during the funeral of Islamic Jihad military commander Iyad al-Hassani, who was killed the previous day in an Israel strike, AFP reporters said.

The current bout of violence erupted on Tuesday when Israeli strikes on Gaza killed three leading Islamic Jihad members. Three other senior figures from the Palestinian militant group were killed in later strikes.

They are among at least 33 Palestinian lives lost in the fighting, according to Gaza’s health ministry, including children.

featureimage Rubble at the site of an air strike

There has been one fatality on Israeli territory: an elderly woman who rescue services said was killed on Thursday night when a rocket struck the central city of Rehovot.

Maynard, who is working with Medical Aid for Palestine, said he has seen “rockets” and destruction since the fighting broke out and the doctors have been told they cannot leave their city centre hotel.

He told the PA news agency: “I’ve been coming out to Gaza for 12 or 13 years. I’ve come out with another surgeon from London for three days of nonstop cancer surgeries but on Tuesday morning, in the early hours, there were the first bombings.

“We’re now confined to a hotel and none of our surgeries have been able to go ahead. A small percentage of patients have been allowed out but we estimate there are a few hundred patients not getting the treatment they need.”

The father-of-three, who also trains doctors in the city, said there is nowhere for patients to receive radiotherapy and only limited chemotherapy on offer in the area, with patients needing to travel to Jerusalem or the West Bank for treatment.

He said 12 other UK nationals are among more than 100 humanitarian workers banned from crossing the border in order to get home and flee the conflict.

Dr Maynard said: “Every day we hope it’s going to be the day (the borders reopen).

“We were all pretty hopeful that on Wednesday or Thursday it was going to be the day something would happen. We understand there’s no chance that anything will happen today because it’s the Sabbath.

Press Association
Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel