| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Hospitals are in front of a dead end after raising diesel subsidies

Despite the hospitals’ proactive warnings about the danger of lifting subsidies on the diesel fuel delivered to them, this happened without the officials paying attention to the cries of those in charge of the sector, not even to the conditions of patients and other citizens who are at risk of being admitted to the hospital at any moment. Yesterday, a new problem was added to the multifaceted problems of the hospital sector. So. what is the state of hospitals? Is it seeking to find a satisfactory solution with the new government?

The head of the Syndicate of Owners of Private Hospitals, Suleiman Haroun, explained to Al Markaziya that “like all sectors, hospitals were not given exceptional support in diesel. Even without support, we have difficulty finding the material at the official price, and several hospitals told me that yesterday they had to resort to the black market. Some of them were on the verge of closing if we had not entered mediation to deliver them four thousand liters of diesel at the last moments,” he asked, “How do we find fuels on the black market when they are not available at the official price? Where do the dealers in this market get diesel from?”.

He warned that “raising the price of diesel in this way and without its support will increase the cost on hospitals and will be directly reflected on the patient, as the daily energy generation cost incurred by the latter will become 700,000 Lebanese pounds. This number cannot be sustained.” He called for “the necessity of providing subsidized diesel to hospitals, serum laboratories and oxygen, because their prices will also rise and in turn increase hospitalization costs.”

Haroun revealed that, “After announcing the emptying of diesel oil in the facilities, we went to them to receive the material, so the answer would be: The priority is not for hospitals,” wondering, “Who are they for?”

He concluded, “We have not yet met the new Minister of Public Health, Firas Al-Abyad, waiting for the government to gain confidence. Hopefully, we will be able to schedule appointments with the relevant ministers starting in the middle of next week.”

  • Sawt Beirut International