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Sudanese asylum seeker dies for lack of affordable care him in the department in his at
Sudanese asylum
seeker dies for lack
of affordable care
him in the department in his
at the Health Ministry. This
Ido Efrati
sensitive condition exposed
very sick individual. It
27-year-old Sudanese
him to infectious agents, so
is problematic to release such
asylum seeker died at Be'er
obtaining the oxygen genera-
person into the community
Sheva hospital after failing tor was urgent. Hospital of-
with no support services. Out
to raise the NIS
000,6 needed
ficials say M.'s disease was
of pity and humaneness,
to buy an oxygen generator
terminal and that the staff
was decided to leave him in
that would have enabled his
went beyond their duty in
the hospital. Itshould be noted
release from hospital and
their care
for him. "There
that Soroka continued to give
removal from possible infec-
is direct link between the
the appropriate care to pa-
tions,to which he was particu-
duration of hospitalization
tientin his condition."
larly sensitive. Since he was
and exposure to infections in
According to Shahar Sho-
unable to receive treatment
hospital, so that the intent
ham, head of the division for
outside the Soroka Medical
is always to release patients
migrants and people without
Center, he was obliged to re-
with chronic diseases as soon
legal status at PHR, the case
main there for two months
as possible, for further treat-
isfurther proof that migrants'
instead of the two days that
ment in their communities,"
civil status should be discon-
were necessary. He eventual-
hospitalspokesperson said.
nected from their social ben-
ly succumbed
to an infection.
"However, without the genera-
efits. "Every Israeliisinsured
M., who lived in Arad,
tor the staffcould not approve
with access to all services.
suffered from Kartagener
his release. Social workers at
There are migrants here,
syndrome, rare genetic dis-
the hospital tried to obtain one
children, and they
order that expresses as lung
from several organizations
should also have such access."
disease. M., who was hospital-
but to no avail/' After two
If M. belonged to an HMO, he
ized frequently, was admitted
months, he was rushed to the
would have gone home and
to the emergency department
intensive care unit in critical
received the generator,prob-
at Soroka on August 18 due to
condition after contracting an
deterioration in his condition.
infection that led to respira-
ablysaving his life."
The law definingpatients'
He was placed in the internal
tory failure, from which he
rightsguarantees treatment
ward, suffering
for allat emergency facilities,
from weakness,
cough and
has been treat-
regardless of status or pay-
shortness of breath. He was
ing Sudanese and Eritreans
ment. "There are many
stabilized and the staff at-
with no status as
where hospitalsappeal to us,"
tempted to release him after
in recent years
adds, "but patients
few days, but held off until
ther from injuries sustained
are not released since they
itwas clear he would receive
during their infiltration or
require further treatment. If
medication and obtain an oxy-
from internal diseases con-
they are released, they return
gen generator.
tracted during incarceration.
quickly for lack of treatment.
As an asylum seeker with
The numbers dwindled as the
Each day at an emergency
no legal status, M. was not in
fence on the southern border
ward costs
.000,3 The so-
any community health servic-
with Egypt was completed.
lution is to allow them access
es, and nor could he join one
January and Sep-
to community services. There
of the health maintenance
,3102 55
people with-
is no need for new clinics or
ganizations.During his two-
month stay at the hospital,
out legal status were hospital-
separate systems, or for new
ized at Soroka, and
legislation. The minister has
social services desperately
treated in ER.
In M.'s case, the hospital
sought solution by appeal-
the authority to apply the law
to migrants."
ing to nonprofitorganizations appealed not only to voluntary
committee dealing with
and other aid agencies, but all
organizations but also to the
foreign workers met with
their attempts were in vain.
Health Ministry. "There is
Health Minister Yael Ger-
The Physicians for Human
to find medication for him, but
no oxygen generator could be
problem in the overall treat-
ment of people without legal
standing," the ministry said
in response. "Currentlythey
last June. She said that
state is obliged to help
that she would look into
expanding their medical ben-
found. An attempt to borrow
receive treatment
in emer-
efits.Shoham says that so far
one from the Yad Sarah vol-
gency rooms in hospitals, as
there has been no change.
failed, since


account, deposit and

well as at dedicated clinicin south Tel Aviv. The Medical

currently 000,052 people without legal

credit card were


Administration at the minis-

standing in Israel, Shoham

The hospitalized man


of these. The only op- tion was to buy one for NIS


Physicians for Human


Rights were collecting funds,

but M. died before sufficient


was raised.

try is trying to find creative solutions for different cases.

The Sudanese

patient was hospitalized for two months

despite his lack of official status, with the understand- ing that he couldn't be re-


000,55 of whom are asy-

lum seekers mostly from Er-

itrea and Sudan who cannot

be expelled. further


have overstayed their visa

permits, while

000,07 were

brought here as laborers. All

Throughout his prolonged hospitalization, the staff ex- pressed concerns that leaving

leased and abandoned, given

his serious condition. His case

was reported and discussed


these groups have limited or to any health ser-

no access