Lebanese people’s health at stake due to the inability to afford hospital bills (2)
Information International has previously published studies detailing the reasons behind the decline of drug consumption in Lebanon. This includes the inability of a large number of Lebanese citizens being unable to afford their medication or their hospital bills, regardless of whether they are self payers, or covered by the Ministry of Public Health or other insurers. This is attributed to inflation and unchecked capitalism, which has caused some hospital bills to exceed hundreds of millions of Lebanese pounds.
Prior to the crisis, 10,000 hospital beds, with an occupancy rate an occupancy rate between 60% and 70% (i.e. about 6,000-7,000 patients) were spread out across the country. Howwer, today, as hospital departments shutter their doors, Lebanon only has 6,000 beds with the latest figures indicate an occupancy rate of 50% to 60% (3,000 to 3,600 patients) which is half the number of patients in hospitals prior to the crisis. Note here that before the crisis the number of occupied beds was inflated because the Ministry of Public health and other insurers were able to bare the costs of hospitalization.