The Head of the Parliamentary Health Committee MP Assem Araji said that if the remaining subsidies on chronic and incurable diseases is lifted the country will be facing a health disaster, as the citizen will no longer be able to bear the burdens of pharmaceutical bill.
He hoped to find solutions rapidly to avoid a crisis that would be added to the aggravating crises.
Araji explained that the delegation of the Parliamentary Health Committee has met with Prime Minister Najib Mikati a few days ago and asked him to reconsider the subsidies allocated for medicine, by raising it from $35 million to $50 million. He pointed out that Mikati has informed the delegation that the funds are not available, but promised to study the matter with Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh.
Araji added that the Minister of Public Health Firas Aiyad could not be blamed for lifting subsidies on medicine, because only $35 million were available from the Central Bank for supporting pharmaceuticals.
Araji considered that reducing subsidies for chronic diseases medicines had an impact on poor people as medicine prices will soar from 6 to 8, and this decision has sparked people’s anger and denunciation. He warned of a complete collapse of the hospital sector.
Araji said that the guarantor institutions mainly the National Social Security Fund and the Public Employees Cooperative fund can no longer face the crisis, stating that 60% of the Lebanese are not able to admit hospitals even if they are covered by insurance institutions.
Araji pointed out that the alternatives offered to confront the medicine crisis are primary health care centers, where most types of medicines that come from the European Union are available.
He said: “The medical card, like other solutions, remains within the framework of endeavors and wishes if funds are not available.”