The president of the Lebanese Society of Nephrology, Dr. Robert Najem, revealed an alarming number of patients whose lives are at risk.
He stated that more than 5,000 patients are at risk of losing their lives, including 4,000 hemodialysis patients, 200 under abdominal dialyzes, and 1,000 who need immunosuppressive drugs after undergoing a kidney transplant.
During his interview with Al-Hurra, Dr. Najem said: “Hospitals are no longer able to bear the costs, although some of the medicines are still subsidized by the government.”
He added that “there is a delay in the delivery of the subsidized medicines. In addition to the delay in paying hospital dues for about two years.”
Regarding the decrease in the number of dialysis sessions at some hospitals, Dr. Najem commented: “This is due to the lack of supplies and medicines, especially in the centers located in the north and south, in addition to the inability of some of them to secure the high price of fuel to operate the machines.”
He noted that the major problem is financial and the government should secure subsidized medicines and supplies, or pay “permanently and quickly to hospitals” for them to be able to buy these needed supplies.
He considered that if the state could not help, it should request international support because the situation is no longer bearable.
Last December, Amnesty International blamed the Lebanese authorities for “failing to protect the right to health and life of citizens, in the midst of an ongoing crisis that has left patients unable to afford or obtain essential medicines.”
Although the government was aware of the need to lift subsidies, it failed to develop a plan to ensure the availability of essential medicines.