This article is part of a developing story.

See latest updates

Before the war: New documentary on health care in Gaza

Watch MSF’s new documentary showing the state of Gaza’s health care system before the war—a system that no longer exists.

For the past eight months, the world’s attention has been on the crushing Israeli military campaign in Gaza and its devastation of the Strip’s health care system. But Gaza has been under a land, air, and sea blockade by Israeli authorities since 2006, which has presented significant challenges to the health care system since long before the current war started in October 2023. For years, the blockade has made it extremely difficult to import essential medical supplies.

Still, Gaza managed to have a robust and functional health care system, including advanced surgical care, research, and stewardship on antimicrobial resistance, among other critical medical needs. Today, that health care system no longer exists.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has released a new documentary, originally filmed in May 2023, which follows MSF’s Dr. Sohaib Safi as he works at Al-Awda Hospital. “We're talking about an occupation that has been imposed on Palestine for years and years,” said Dr. Safi. “And the cumulative effect on the health care system is for sure catastrophic.”

Watch the documentary “Gaza: Before October 7” >

How we're responding to the war in Gaza