Toronto, ON- The medical evacuation of 29 critical cases was completed yesterday. The medical evacuation lasted for three days. On the first day, four patients were evacuated. On the second day ,12 patients were evacuated and the remaining 13 patients were evacuated yesterday. In total there were 18 children, six women and five men. Two patients originally on the list had already passed away before the evacuation.
For three months, UOSSM and other local NGOs have been strongly lobbying governments and parties to the conflict for the immediate medical evacuation of over 650 patients that need urgent medical care in Ghouta. Among them are children and patients with chronic illnesses and cancer for which there is no treatment available in Ghouta.
The situation in Ghouta is dire, as many are facing malnutrition while being under
constant bombardment; many sustaining life-threatening injuries. There are at least 370,000 people in besieged Ghouta.
UOSSM Calls For:
The immediate medical evacuation of ALL critically ill children in Ghouta. Many were not on the list of 29 patients evacuated.
The opening of safe humanitarian corridors to provide food and medicine to civilians.
The immediate medical evacuation of the over 650 patients in need and assurances of their safety and impartial medical treatment.
UOSSM reiterates that medical evacuations should focus on the needs of the patient and should not be conditional or political. UOSSM remains committed to serving anyone in need and working with all parties to ensure patients receive the best possible care.
“While we are grateful that the 29 patients have a new lease on life, there are hundreds of patients who are in critical condition and need IMMEDIATE evacuation. We already lost 2 patients while waiting for these negotiations to finalize and that is unacceptable. These actions were just a first step and many more are needed, such as the delivery of food and medicine to Ghouta, to fulfill our most basic humanitarian responsibilities. Any further delays will cost lives.” Said Dr. Anas Al Kassem , UOSSM Board member and Ontario Surgeon