Since late 2019, the instability and worsening living conditions in Lebanon have pushed more and more Lebanese to move out of their country. Among those are numerous healthcare workers that are leaving for better opportunities.
Many of these workers have been struggling to make ends meet in the prevailing crisis.
For one thing, like the rest of the Lebanese people, doctors and nurses are suffering at the hands of their country’s banks, which are withholding their hard-earned savings.
Additionally, many of them have recently been forced to accept unfair salary cuts and even overdue or unpaid monthly salaries in many instances.
All of this has been happening in the midst of a pandemic that has kept Lebanon’s medical body on its feet since the beginning of the year, often without being paid properly, let alone compensated, as is the case in many other countries.
The readily-difficult working conditions were severely exacerbated as a result of the massive Beirut Port explosion, which caused significant damage to many hospitals in Beirut and cost numerous healthcare workers their jobs.
For many, this was the last straw.
In the last 2 months alone, around 150 doctors have contacted the Order of Physicians for recommendation letters for them to submit with their immigration applications, according to the Order’s president, Dr. Charaf Abou Charaf.
As per Abou Charaf, the number of doctors who have decided to emigrate from Lebanon, since July, is over 300.
Similarly, the Order of Nurses has received requests for immigration-related documents from over 200 nurses, according to the Order’s president, Myrna Doumit.
Many medical workers are applying for job openings inflowing through the Foreign Ministry from Canada, the UK, and various European and Arab countries that are seeking to hire them for their extensive experience and proficiency.
However, as they leave, these workers are causing significant gaps in Lebanon’s healthcare sector, which is already weakened by the economic crisis and the lack of US dollars in the market, with which to buy essential equipment and supplies.
It’s worth noting that since the August 4 blast, many Lebanese have packed their bags and left, while numerous others planning to do so in the near future.
With the lack of a clear solution on the horizon for the countless economic, financial, monetary, and political problems infesting Lebanon today, hope for a better life in this country seems to be draining quickly.