| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Meeting held between “importers of medical supplies” and WHO

The Syndicate of Importers of Medical Equipment and Supplies said in a statement that the Head of the Syndicate Salma Assi attended a meeting with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the presence of Dr. Ahmed Al-Mandhari, Dr. Iman Al-Shanqiti and Dr. Rana Hajjah. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Order of Physicians, the Syndicate of Private Hospitals and the Order of Nurses.

The meeting aimed to listen to the problems that private companies are suffering from in the health sector, to explain their vision for getting out of the current crisis, and follow up on their pivotal role in the hospital sector.

Assi explained the several faults and mistakes in the decisions of the Ministry of Health and the Central Bank to support medical supplies, detailing the problems that medical supplies importers are facing with the Central Bank, which has delayed implementing the files for more than six months, in addition to its rejection of many files and the failure to address any support request since May 7, 2021.”

Assi presented the solutions demanded by the private sector to ensure its continuity and mitigate the severity of the crisis. The solutions included that the Central Bank should provide a clear and quick answer regarding the date on when it will pay the value of all suspended files related to medical supplies that were sold at the subsidized price. Also, giving an explicit answer whether BDL will grant prior consent or not. Secondly, the Ministry of Health should issue a decision that allow companies to import unsubsidized goods and secure it for the local market, provided that the Ministry defines a support mechanism to help patients who really need it.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his understanding of the companies’ position and welcomed the efforts of the private sector in Lebanon, promising that the organization would form specialized committees to study all these problems, and would work with the concerned authorities to solve it.

It is worth noting that “the Syndicate of Importers of Medical Equipment and Supplies had sent a letter to WHO in Lebanon, asking it to intervene to avoid a complete halt to the import of medical supplies, which would lead to an unprecedented and dangerous escalation to the current crisis.”

  • Sawt Beirut International