Lebanese Govt Owes AUB Medical Center Over $150 Million

LEBANESE PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency | AFP

The American University of Beirut (AUB) is one of Lebanon’s most prestigious universities. It has graduated hundreds of prominent doctors and leading figures in the medical field, among many others.

Unfortunately, AUB is now fighting for its life up against the worst financial crisis it has ever encountered and had to recently lay off 1,500 employees so far.

Adding salt to the wound, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab, who was a former employee at the university, is now suing the institution for over $1 million.

“This is the worst government in the history of Lebanon when it comes to their understanding of higher education,” said AUB President Fadlo Khuri in a virtual conference with Middle East Institute.

In addition, he said that the government owes AUB’s medical center more than $150 million in medical bills and has not yet addressed repayment.

In fact, the government not only owes AUBMC but, reportedly, several of the state-owned hospitals, which is adding to their financial duress.

Just last month, hospital employees demonstrated again for the financial rights of medical workers, who still have dues from the government from 2019, and their rights to the series of ranks and salaries.

This includes the Rafik Hariri University Hospital that has been instrumental in the fight against the pandemic.

After having reopened the airport, Lebanon might face a potential lockdown again as coronavirus cases surge. In just two days this week, the country has recorded over 100 new cases.

Yet, with limited funds, the hospitals must continue pushing in the fight against the outbreak.

The state is deep in debt and going through the worst financial crisis in living history.

Unfortunately, as of yet, its attempted negotiations with the IMF don’t seem to be going anywhere; all while friendly countries (and the Lebanese people) are urging the government to implement reforms.