Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defense and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants in the caretaker government, Zeina Akar, held an emergency meeting today at the Ministry of National Defense to discuss the deteriorating health situation in the country, which was attended by those concerned with the health sector in Lebanon.
“Today we stand face to face before the collapse of this sector, as medical care is in danger, and we are facing a health gap after Lebanon was considered the ‘hospital of the East’…We do not know who to blame in light of the prevailing paralysis, and the reluctance of some private hospitals to receive patients from various groups, especially those covered by military medical plans such as the army and security services, and their announcement through the media of their decision not to perform some surgeries and not to receive dialysis patients, and so on…They are putting the lives of citizens at risk, in light of the severe shortage of medical and nursing staff due to immigration and the Corona epidemic, while some doctors are demanding citizens to pay huge sums for surgical operations,” Akar explained.
She pointed to the attempt of some importers of medicines and medical supplies to hide their products in warehouses until they can sell them at higher prices, wondering about their sense of responsibility and human conscience as they stand idle amidst the people’s ongoing pain and suffering. “Where is everyone’s conscience, as Lebanon is experiencing an unprecedented economic and financial crisis like never before…?” questioned Akar.
“We are asking the international community to help us while we do not wish to help ourselves!” she exclaimed.
Akar described what is happening as a “crime against humanity”, stressing that “we must all devise solutions, and show humility and sacrifice to protect our country and our citizens in wake of the difficult circumstances that Lebanon is going through, the currency collapse and the rising US dollar exchange rate.”
At the end of the meeting, the attendees highlighted the necessity of following-up and implementing the set of recommendations agreed upon during today’s discussions, namely to:
1- Ensure that all patients are admitted to hospitals, depriving no one of needed hospitalization
2- Hold consecutive meetings over a period of three days, starting next Monday, at the National Social Security Fund’s headquarters by all government insurance sides and military and security agencies, in order to come up with radical solutions with regards to adjusting hospital and medical tariffs for doctors and hospitals and amending medical supplies regulations, among various other points.
The meetings’ outcome will then be submitted to the Deputy Prime Minister to carry out the necessary efforts with those concerned to ensure proper execution.