Medical oxygen to Palestinian hospitals

Posted on Jan 9, 2017

Since 1997, NORWAC and the Palestinian Ministry of Health (PMoH) have cooperated on the implementation of the Oxygen Concentrators Project, with generous support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Previously, the PMoH fully relied on purchasing liquid medical oxygen to all of its public hospitals from Israel. This was not sustainable. It did not ensure constant and sufficient supply of essential and often life saving medical oxygen to patients. During emergencies, curfews and military incursions in West Bank, and under the blockade and mutiple wars in Gaza,  supplies could be severely delayed or stopped, putting patients` health or lives at risk. In addition, the very high cost of liquid oxygen made it a financially unsustainable option.

Through the project over the past 20 years, all major public hospitals in Palestine – a total of 18 in the West Bank and 20 in Gaza - have beeen equipped with generators producing medical oxygen. The PMoH is now completely self-sufficient in medical oxygen production, and no longer relies on external supplies.

Through the project, NORWAC has supported provision of technical maintenance of all generator locations by external companies. In 2016, NORWAC provided the means for the PMoH to successfully  take over all responsibility for maintanance of all locations in the West Bank; a specialized unit of PMoH engineers was trained and equipped to secure the maintenance operations and supplies. In 2017 & 2018 this model is to be gradually implemented in Gaza.