Lebanon Healthcare Collapse

Lebanon’s healthcare system is crumbling amid an economic crisis that has led to an exodus of doctors and nurses and forced private hospitals to close departments, putting further strain on the already stretched healthcare system.

Lebanon’s economy has been in free-fall since 2019 and its currency has lost more than 90% of its value, driving much of the nation into poverty.

Lebanon was once a regional hub for medical treatment, but now fewer people can afford medical care. Patients frequently have to rely on charity and the availability of medicines at hospitals is jeopardized by financial strains.

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The crisis is also affecting children, especially among Syrian refugees who have fled over the border into Lebanon. Making up about a quarter of the population, Lebanon hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees. These parents and families are having great difficulty to access basic healthcare for their children.

Childhood vaccination rates have declined, leaving hundreds of thousands of children vulnerable to preventable diseases such as measles and pneumonia.

Compounding the issues are a difficult political climate that slowed down IMF talks to unlock support and coming to a long-term solution. The ministry of health budget was $300 million before the crisis and is now worth an equivalent of $20 million, after the currency crash.

This situation leaves patients who need healthcare stranded and left without options, while hospitals are having trouble sourcing the medicines and supplies they need.

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