| 31 January 2023, Tuesday |

Lebanese are only a few hours away from shutting down hospitals

The hospitals crisis on the forefront again, but the tragedy is greater this time. Hospitals in Greater Beirut and the regions are threatened with closure in the coming hours due to the severe shortage of diesel fuel, which required an intervention to address the matter as much as possible.

The Head of the Syndicate of Hospital Owners, Sleiman Haroun, told Sawt Beirut International (SBI) reporter Ghida Jbeili that there are ten hospitals threatened with shutdown today. “We were able to secure diesel for these hospitals for tomorrow, but these are partial solutions. If what has been circulated about the hurdles in fuel imports is true, then we are on the verge of a real disaster in the healthcare sector.”

The shortage of diesel prompted the administration of the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) to take a set of emergency measures, mainly reducing diesel usage, as well as ensuring the proper functioning of the hospital. AUBMC administration announced in a statement that it will be obliged to turn off Air Conditioners (AC), except for the buildings that include laboratories and medical supplies that permanently require cooling. The hospital also asked a number of employees to work remotely from home starting from next week.

Haroun said: “Hospitals in Lebanon need 350,000 liters of diesel daily, but we have secured about 60,000 liters only currently.”

Zahrani plant has not delivered diesel to hospitals for a while, and Tripoli facility is providing small quantities. Oil importers are also distributing insufficient quantities in the market. “May God helps the patients. Hospitals are striving to secure healthcare services from the available resources and they are in dire need for an external support,” Haroun said.

International aid and support can be secured, but the problem lies in the political authority’s inability to form a government and combat corruption. There are clear and well-known conditions for supporting Lebanon, not only the hospital and healthcare sector.

  • Sawt Beirut International