The suspension on imports of nitrous oxide, the medical gas used for anaesthetics and as a 50% component in Entonox, to Gaza Strip hospitals has forced its administrations to close down surgery departments and halt a number of operations.

Israel had temporarily barred the import of nitrous oxide as part of its siege and closure of commercial crossings preventing crucial medical supplies from reaching hospitals, halting all operations except those deemed absolutely vital, and causing chaos throughout Gaza’s health service.

Following the recent resumption of the importation of nitrous oxide gas, medical crews worked additional hours around the clock to perform surgeries delayed by the shortage. But the Israel siege and lack of vital medicinal supplies has had an incredibly negative effect on cardiac patients and cardiology departments in Gaza Strip hospitals have begun to accept only those patients who suffer worst from the medicine shortage and lack of appropriate equipment.

Bassem Naim, health minister in the dismissed government, had commented, “There is a possibility of a health disaster occurring here anew, with patients dying because our hospitals are unable to conduct surgeries. There is a need for international intervention to prevent this catastrophe from happening.”