Lets hope Nadia Gaber, a second year medical student at the University of California at San Francisco Medical School (UCSF) is a better doctor than she is a journalist. Nadia's op-ed in the Synapse, the UCSF student journal urging the school to divest from Israel was rife with inaccuracies and out-dated information.
Fortunately, the Synapse has printed a rebuttal to Nadia's misguided tome, written by Dr. Arnold S. Seid, a graduate from UCSF Medical School currently practices surgery in Santa Monica, California. its called "No to politicization at UCSF"
As a graduate of UCSF Medical School (1971), permit me to comment on Nadia Gaber’s op-ed (January 9) calling for boycotts and divestment from the state of Israel. The article was troubling for three reasons.Read all of Dr. Seid's response to the UCSF Synapse here.
First, Ms. Gaber uses counterfactual and illogical arguments. She charges that Israel is responsible for the Palestinians’ “dismal” health care system. This accusation is fraudulent. The Palestinian National Authority has been self-governing for almost 20 years, and Palestinian health care is managed by the PA’s Ministry of Health. Any deficiencies are the result of mismanagement, and given that Palestinians receive the highest amount of per capita foreign aid in the world, to their poor allocation of resources.
If Hamas, the Palestinian government in Gaza, spent this largesse on medical care rather than on rockets, and if the PA did not divert 6 percent of its annual budget to pay convicted Palestinian terrorists and the families of suicide bombers, their health care system would be better.
Furthermore, Gaber perversely justifies Hamas’ thousands of rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by claiming Palestinians have “no other options.” Certainly one option is that Hamas could choose to make peace, and renounce its charter and frequently stated goal to engage in jihad to murder Jews, “obliterate” Israel and replace it with an Islamist theocracy.
Second, Gaber’s use of data is below professional standards. She claims that Palestinians’ health care is “dismal,” but admits that her data may be 10 years old. Given recent data, either her statistics are wrong or there have been dramatic improvements in health indices, which contradict her thesis.
She wrote that Palestinian infant mortality is 29 per 1,000 people, while 2011 data indicates it is 15.2 per 1,000 (CIA World Factbook), that maternal mortality is 70 per 1,000 when in 2011 it was 28 per 100,000 (World Health Organization), and that there are only nine physicians per 10,000 Palestinians, while 2011 data indicates that the number is 20.8 per 10,000 (World Health Organization), and that the number of PA Ministry of Health physicians almost doubled between 2005 and 2010, rising from 2,363 to 4,093. Gaber’s statistics are old and incorrect, in one case by orders of magnitude.
Moreover, Gaber complains that Israel has far better health care than Palestinians. The comparison is meaningless. Israel is an advanced industrial nation on the forefront of medical research and innovation. The PA should instead be compared with neighboring countries at similar levels of development. In fact, the PA’s health indices resemble or surpass those of other countries in the region.