The New Zealand Nurses Organisation Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) says it is gravely concerned at reports of hospital and health workers being targeted in Gaza. escalating loss of life among health workers and other civilians in the Palestinian Territories.
NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says the latest United Nations reports say more than 300 health workers have been killed in the conflict. None of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are fully functional due to bombing, and according to the World Health Organization only 15 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functional – nine in the south and six in the north.
“We are appalled by reports from health workers in the territories about the constant bombardment, the extreme lack of medical supplies and the tortuous decisions made each day about who can be saved and who will be left to die.
“The health workers say they work under constant fear of being deliberately shot or killed in a bombing. We can only imagine the extent of the suffering experienced by patients, children, families and communities in Gaza and the West Bank.”
Ms Nuku said hospitals and their staff are protected under international humanitarian law, and the targeting of hospitals and health workers needs to stop immediately.
“We are calling for an enduring and immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel to prevent further civilian deaths and allow health workers unrestricted access to provide lifesaving medical care.”
She said NZNO extends solidarity with health workers everywhere and that the organisation stands with all peoples aspiring for freedom from colonisation.
There will be a health care workers vigil (not organised by NZNO) near Auckland Hospital this evening at 6.30pm on the corner of Domain Drive and Park Rd. The purpose of the vigil is to mourn the health care workers killed in Gaza.