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Health Care, Disease Control, Crime and Safety in Lebanon

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With the ravages of a long civil war (1975-1990) and the utter devastation of the Israeli occupation (1978-1990), Lebanon’s health care system inevitably remains fragmented and weak. According to the research of World Health Organization (WHO) and Lebanon National Health Accounts, the health care system of Lebanon is mostly placed in the hands of private health care institutions. In the year 2000, almost 99% of hospital beds are in the private sector.

According to the same research, the proportion of budget allocated by the government to health care is only 6.5%. 80.06% come from private sources, 17.98% from public sources, and 1.96% from international donors. This kind of proportional distribution is a reflection of how the health care system is mostly dependent on the private sector for services and how inadequate the supply side controls are.

In terms of health insurance, only a portion of the population, approximately 45.6% were able to secure themselves with an insurance of some kind (public or private). For those who are not covered by any insurance plan, the Ministry of Health tries its best to help individuals on their hospitalization costs. The coverage of their financial assistance is independent of the individual’s income and asset status. The Ministry also covers narrow specialties such as chemotherapy, dialysis, and open heart surgery. However, in recent times, the Ministry has been incurring deficits that resulted to either a delay in the reimbursements or the reduction of the coverage that they provide to the individuals that badly need their services.

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