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Trop Doct. 2007 Jan;37(1):13-7.

The influence of economic factors on the location of birth among Palestinian women in Bethlehem during the second Palestinian uprising.

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Department of International Community Health, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


We investigated the impact of the Palestinians' economic support programmes and the influence of Israeli army invasions on the place of birth during the second Palestinian uprising. We collected data on the number of births by place from the Palestinian Ministry of Health and Holy Family Hospital (HFH) in Bethlehem and on Israeli army's invasions into Bethlehem. We then analysed these factors. We see the percentage of births in government hospitals increased after a new health insurance scheme was introduced in 2001. The number of births in HFH decreased during this period. Israeli army invasions also contributed to the decrease of births in HFH during April 2002. However, reducing the charge for delivery at HFH in December 2002 greatly increased the number of births there. We concluded that, in urban Bethlehem, although movement restrictions contributed to the change in the place of birth, economic support programmes have also contributed to offsetting the movement restriction effects.

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