Rani Haddad, the Co-founder of Beirut-based Axon Technologies, a cybersecurity company, took to Twitter to share how his father, an elderly of 75 years of age, was refused vaccination by two hospitals for not being Lebanese.
According to one of these hospitals, they are “abiding by the Lebanese law.” However, this contradicts what official statements have been declaring.
The representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Lebanon, Iman Shankiti, has declared to the media, after meeting the Lebanese Health Minister, that the vaccination plan will cover all those residing in Lebanon, including refugees.
This is not what Rani Haddad and his father experienced, though, when he took his father for vaccination after calling the hotline of Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH).
In a series of tweets, Haddad shared that RHUH refused to vaccinate his elderly father, a Palestinian of Canadian citizenship, and former business owner in Lebanon.
“We were turned away because non-Lebanese are not currently being vaccinated as per the ministry’s instruction,” Haddad told The961.
“We even tried Al-Rassoul [Al-Azam] Hospital the following day and we were told the same thing,” he added.
In a since-deleted tweet responding to Haddad, the RHUH official Twitter account confirmed the incident and replied that it was abiding by the Lebanese law, without any specification on which law they are enforcing.
Dr. Firass Abiad, manager and CEO of the RHUH, was not directly available for comment.
However, as it appears from Haddad’s testimony, the hospitals in Lebanon are reportedly instructed by the Health Ministry not to vaccinate non-Lebanese nationals for now, although seniors like Haddad’s father do belong to the priority age category.
Adding that the Health Ministry has reportedly committed to UNRWA and the World Bank, which is financing the vaccine, to vaccinate as many people of the most vulnerable groups as possible, regardless of nationality.
To top it all, with the ongoing misgovernance, over a dozen lawmakers shamefully broke the rules to get vaccination priority, unless all these parliamentarians are over 75 years old, which means their retirement is past due.