| 23 June 2021, Wednesday |

“Every day we wake up to a new crisis,” Haroun says

“We are now lost between the statements made by the health minister and those issued by the Central Bank due to the contradiction between assurances that subsidies will continue and talks about the possibility they cannot be sustained,” the Head of the Syndicate of Private Hospitals, Sleiman Haroun, said on Sunday.

“Every day we wake up to a new crisis linked to the hospital and health sector,” Haroun said, adding that “the onus is today on the political authority” and that “the parties must stop bickering in order to save what is left of this country”.

On May 24, Haroun warned that doctors might stop performing surgeries, even emergency ones, due to the shortage of anesthesia medicine, and called on the concerned officials to resolve this “catastrophe” quickly to “save patients from this imminent danger to their lives.”

During talks with Al Markaziyah news agency, Haroun revealed “a dangerous situation that hospitals have been reeling from for a week now, and which is expected to drag on for several days. This situation lies in the shortage of anesthesia medicine, namely Propofol, Esmeron and their agent Droguerie de l’Union.”

“Without these two types of medicine, it is impossible to perform surgeries. That’s why hospitals find themselves compelled to suspend surgeries,” he said. “As for the very limited stock they have, they leave it for emergency surgeries.”

“In case this problem drags on for a long time, we won’t be able to perform any kind of surgeries, even the urgent and emergency ones,” he warned, noting that “this situation is very dangerous and requires the swift intervention of any official to solve it immediately.”

On Thursday, Lebanon’s Association of Depositors warned the Central Bank (BDL) against dipping into the country’s mandatory currency reserves after the BDL said it was unable to keep subsidizing medicine without using such reserves.

Lebanon’s Central Bank had announced that a system for importing subsidized medical goods could not be sustained without using its mandatory reserves and asked the relevant authorities to find a solution to the problem.

The country is in the throes of a severe financial meltdown and has been subsidizing medicine, fuel, wheat, and other basic goods since last year.