In consideration of the establishment of the State of Palestine, the National Spatial Plan has been under preparation as an integrated plan that takes into account the spatial dimension in guiding the development and spatial distribution of social and economic activities, as well as the optimal use of resources. This paper analyzes and assesses the spatial coverage and situation of health sector at the national level, which is considered as the basic requirement for planning and development in this sector, and one of the important components of the plan. Moreover, it identifies the future needs of health facilities based on population projections for 2025. The followed methodology is based on an analytical approach in the light of available information and statistical data that have been gathered from the basic sources, direct communication with both of the Palestinian Health Information Center/Ministry of Health for 2015 and the Ministry of Local Government System (GeoMOLG).
The spatial analysis has been conducted as related to health facilities provided through the pre-specified four levels of basic health care services as well hospitals in the sixteen governorates in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The analysis of the current coverage and status of health facilities and services as well as future needs has been conducted using GIS through creation and analysis of buffer service areas as per the definition of the coverage for the relevant level of basic health care service and hospitals, as well as through roadway network-based spatial analysis utilizing network analyst features.
After analyzing the current conditions using GIS, and conducting gap analysis, and taking into consideration the population forecasts for each community for 2025, recommendations on future distribution of health facilities have been formulated. This has formed the basis for proposals for the development of future services and health centers, taking into consideration of a range of determinants such as the general trend for urban development and growth, geographic reality, nature of the locality (urban, rural, refugee camp), roadway network and services, the hierarchy of urban centers as related to service delivery.