The health sector in Lebanon has been struggling recently as a result of the economic crisis, and coronavirus pandemic, but additional hurdles have emerged lately which is the emigration of the medical staff and mainly nurses.
Nurses have played a vital role in being at the frontline in the fight against coronavirus pandemic. The ongoing efforts for more than a year exhausted the medical staff, but unfortunately, they weren’t financially compensated for their efforts.
Yahya Marouq, a consultant in the Order of Nurses, and a migrant nurse, told “Sawt Beirut International” reporter Ghassan Farran: “There are many factors attracting nurses and encouraging them to immigrate, mainly the good salaries and benefits, the large potential of building a better career path, and the support received from hospitals”. Yahya added that due to devaluation salaries have lost more than 150 percent of its value, and it is no longer sufficient.
The psychological factors have also contributed in this growing trend. “Nurses, similar to all Lebanese, are living in the unknown, and don’t know when does this crisis will end. Beirut blast has raised the desperate situation. “Migration was the last option to think about, and we hope the economic and political situation improves so we can return back to our country, to find more respect for the the medical staff and their rights,” he said.
It is noteworthy that the number of nurses working in Lebanon is 7,000, of which 1,600 emigrated in the past few months. So where is this sector heading and are we on the verge of a nurses crisis?