Medical Supplies In Lebanon Are Almost Gone And The Sector Is Revolting

Lebanon imports most of its medical equipment and supplies from foreign countries, hence transactions are done with foreign currencies, mostly with dollars. 

Since the dollar exchange rate went up and the dollar has become a ‘rare’ currency in Lebanon, hospitals have begun suffering dramatically. 

Since the beginning of the revolution, hospitals and doctors have organized many sit-ins for rescue, calling on the government to save their institutions crucial to the people and to save lives.

During a November’s sit-in, hospitals revealed in a statement that “they were owed $1.3 billion by various government agencies – including the Health Ministry, the National Social Security Fund, and some military institutions – with some of the unpaid dues dating back to 2011,” as reported by The Daily Star.

Officials from the Syndicate of Hospitals have numerous times delivered their urgent message during interviews by all media outlets: “Hospitals are running out of equipment and medical supplies.”

Head of the Private Hospitals Syndicate, Suleiman Haroun, issued a statement back in December that hospitals in Lebanon “have been under increasing threat as their collective debts grow by around $2 million each day.”

In his words back then: “Hospitals are choking and there is no solution in the current circumstances.” 

Today, hospitals are using their emergency stocks to help patients as well as they can.

All this and the government has not budged yet. Many pleas have been issued by hospitals and syndicates alike, asking those in charge to take urgent actions to rescue the medical sector.

Hospitals say that all current indications signify a dangerous escalation that will have a direct effect on the lives of the Lebanese people. 

Heart batteries, heart valves with measurements, and dialysis filters are among the devices running out quickly. Many hospitals do not have them anymore.

Sutures, gas used for anesthesia, cancer medications, and much more of these essential medical supplies are extinguishing by the day. 

Some hospitals can no longer take in medical cases that aren’t critical, like the Makassed Hospital, as reported by Al-Akhbar News.

The hospital announced this week that it will only take “critical cases that require urgent treatment and hospital stay to continue the treatment.”

Earlier in November, Suleiman Haroun had stated that “the country is on the verge of a major health catastrophe,” according to LBC back then. 

Now, he just announced that the hospitals “have reached the heart of the crisis before the expected date.”

The Minister of Public Health was supposed to find a solution to facilitate the import with the help of the head of the caretaker government, as well as Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, and the governor of the central bank Riad Salameh. 

Having reached the heart of the crisis, the hospital sector is now revolting. Doctors have called for a sit-in at LAU Medical Center- Rizk Hospital on Friday 17 January at 2 PM.

The medical sector in Lebanon is bleeding, and doctors are asking the responsible parties to find quick solutions to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

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