Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails subject to medical malpractice

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 20 April 2017| 22 Rajab 1438

Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails suffer serious health complications due to medical malpractice carried out by “unqualified” doctors, Al-Mugtama magazine revealed on Wednesday.

According to the magazine, Israeli doctors who commit these acts against Palestinian prisoners or carry out unnecessary medical tests go unpunished. The magazine noted that a number of the demands of the Palestinian prisoners, who started a hunger strike on 17 April, are related to improving medical treatment inside Israeli jails.

‘Killing prisoners’
Former Palestinian prisoner Mohamed Al-Taj from the West Bank city of Tubas spent 15 years behind bars and is living with serious chronic heart and lung diseases.

Speaking to Al-Mugtama, he said: “Negligence in medical treatment is an established policy for the Israeli Prison Services (IPS). The aim behind this policy is to kill the prisoners.”

One form of this policy, Al-Taj said, is what is called “medical errors”. He noted that tens of Palestinian prisoners contracted serious chronic diseases such as hepatitis in the dental clinic, where medical instruments are not sterilised.

Many other prisoners had dangerous diseases due to misdiagnosis of diseases or having the wrong medicine for the wrong disease.

“After taking wrong medicines for wrong diseases, the prisoners discover that they had fallen victims of IPS’s policy to harm them,” Al-Taj told the magazine.

Al-Taj noted that IPS doctors are not recorded with the Israeli health ministry and they deal with prisoners as part of the IPS, carrying out the orders of the intelligence services who supervise the prisons.

In addition, he said that these doctors take part in “aggressive” campaigns carried out by the IPS against Palestinian prisoners from time to time.

Chronic conditions misdiagnosed
Al-Taj spoke about his case as an example of the medical negligence and medical errors Palestinian prisoners suffer inside jail.

“I breathed in tear gas and was harshly beaten with batons when I was arrested in 2004,” he said. “When I was put in prison, I started to complain against the IPS.”

He continued complaining for ten years and the IPS continued ignoring him. Whenever he suffered increasing complications, he was admitted to the prison healthcare centre which told him he had no problems.

“After ten years, I fell unconscious inside the prison due to an inability to breath. When I was transferred to an external hospital, I was diagnosed with severe and chronic problems in the lungs,” he said.

He continued: “Recently, doctors said that I would die within eight months if I did not have a lung transplant. This proved to me that the IPS had pre-planned intentions to get rid of Palestinian prisoners.”

Source – MEMO