Richard J. Gordon

Gordon renews call for hospital ship in Gaza

November 6, 2023 Arlene Rivera 304 views

PHILIPPINE Red Cross Chairman and CEO Richard “Dick” Gordon on Monday reiterated his recommendations to put up a hospital ship along the coast of Gaza and hospitals at the border and inside refugee camps in Gaza Strip as the Israel-Hamas war intensifies.

Gordon said hospitals are crucial to ensure all wounded, sick, children, elderly, pregnant and generally everyone vulnerable due to the escalating war, are given immediate medical attention.

Earlier, Gordon mentioned that a hospital ship is needed to help the people in Gaza.

“There are 16,000 pregnant women in Gaza at this time. It is important that we forcefully, if necessary, bring in humanitarian assistance. We can do it by sea. We can set up a hospital ship along the coast of Gaza,” Gordon said.

“Now, the idea of a hospital ship is being proposed by several groups that are observing developments in Gaza. “Wars have rules. Civilians must be protected,” Gordon also said.

He urged the international community to support the call of the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent (IFRC) to set up an international humanitarian corridor to ensure that necessary supplies, such as food, fuel and water, can pass through to help the vulnerable.

With the increasing number of injured, Gordon recommended to the IFRC to work toward the establishment of a field hospital with 5,000 beds at the border of Egypt and Gaza.

Once a hospital is set up there, the area must be declared as an “international humanitarian medical corridor” to immediately meet the needs of the wounded, the sick and the injured.

He also proposed the international ambulances of the movement be deployed to transport patients, supplies and medical personnel.

“It is relatively easy to establish these hospitals with independent generators and water supply and the cost would be miniscule compared to what is currently spent on military activities,” Gordon said as he recalled and grieved the deaths of hundreds of innocent victims when Israel retaliated by bombing a hospital in Gaza.

After Israel launched a counter-strike against Hamas, Gordon immediately recommended there should be humanitarian “pauses” in order to see the urgent and immediate needs of civilians.