Private Hospitals Sound Alarm over Shortage in Medical Supplies

Owners and employees of private hospitals in protest-wragged Lebanon staged a warning strike on Friday over shortage in medical supplies triggered by dollar shortage.

The Syndicate of private hospital owners called for the strike. They stopped all medical and health services except for emergencies, raising the slogan "We are on the last breath."

Association of Private Hospitals, President Suleiman Haroun, told MTV: “ We are sounding the alarm in hospitals because suppliers have stopped delivering medical supplies because of the failure to pay dues.”

Haroun explained: “We can not go on strike like other sectors do, we just sound the alarm. The maximum we do is receive patients, but we won't be able to provide the appropriate treatment for them.”

For two decades until several weeks ago, the Lebanese dollar has been pegged to the greenback, and both currencies were used interchangeably in daily life.

But banks have gradually been reducing access to dollars since the end of the summer.

Haroun had earlier warned in a statement that medical "stocks in the country will not last more than a month,” requesting banks to facilitate money transfers in US dollars for importers of medical supplies.

He also called on the state to pay pending bills to hospitals and doctors working under the health ministry.

Source: Naharnet, Agence France Presse

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