Attempting To Bring Affordable Medicine To Every Lebanese And Refugee in Lebanon

As I’m starting my career in medicine in Lebanon, I noticed that the biggest hurdle facing patients is accessibility. This can take many forms. For the few that I serve at the tertiary center where I work, such issues are second rate: many of them can afford the healthcare provided at my institution and wouldn’t bat an eyelash at the thought that there are actually others in their country who are not as fortunate.

But the truth is that the healthcare sector in Lebanon is a tragedy. The numbers speak for themselves: Almost half of the Lebanese populace has no other means of coverage other than the Ministry of Health, whose budget is less than 5% of the total country’s budget. So what happens when that budget runs out, which happens ever so often? Over 40% of the Lebanese population finds hospital doors closing in their faces, as our news outlets race to pick up the media scoop without actually delving into the issue and finding out why it’s an issue in the first place.

To try and break this cycle, a bunch of doctors from the University of Balamand and the American University of Beirut, along with a few of their colleagues in other fields, have teamed up to attempt and get affordable healthcare to every Lebanese out there, regardless of income range and of geographical location.

It doesn’t matter whether that Lebanese can afford hospital entry or not; in a lot of the case a simple visit to a doctor can suffice to diagnose and treat a particular issue. It’s getting access to a decent doctor that’s the problem, and, when access is available, actually being able to afford the fees.

In a project launched on Zoomaal (link), the aforementioned Lebanese doctors are trying to change that reality to the best of their capacities.

They are creating a platform that allows the following:

  • Patients to get in direct contact with real life doctors for minimal fees, have their histories taken and maybe even get management.
  • Allow those patients to be visited by doctors and get examined and assessed also for minimal fees.

To achieve this, a phone call, video call or a house visit can be arranged. The details are all at this link.

This is the first attempt that I can think of by any Lebanese entity to bring healthcare to the entirety of the Lebanese populace, regardless of income and regardless of geographical constraints. This project is trying to do what the Lebanese government has failed to do: actually care about those who need it most and who don’t have the same amenities that should be a given right in the beginning of 2016.

In a country of over 4 million people, and more than 2 million refugees, having most of your population not having access to healthcare is a disgrace. It’s a shame it’s not as headline grabbing though as Mia Khalifa being the top pornstar in the world or Jbeil’s Christmas tree being listed somewhere. That would’ve gotten people interested.

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4 thoughts on “Attempting To Bring Affordable Medicine To Every Lebanese And Refugee in Lebanon

  1. More power to you and them. I have not heard of this great effort. Maybe it needs to be more publicised, maybe more doctors and/or nurses maybe willing to give their time to this effort. What do you think (readers) do we need more information on this effort – can we help in any way – maybe a newspaper campaign Arabic and English would yield positive results. I would love to hear more about their efforts

    Reply
  2. hey Sylvia, I’m Radwan part of the team working on the project.
    you would be shocked with the number of doctors and nurses who are willing to invest their time once this is launched. we are currently crowdfunding to get the service up and running, any form of help is greatly appreciated, from simply sharing our link to anything else.

    we have been working on it for a couples of months, we released it to the public 2 days ago, we’re currently in our third day and we’re getting a lot of positive feedback.

    if you want to tract our progress you can check our updates section on zoomal:
    http://www.zoomaal.com/p/wupdoc
    follow us on twitter @whatsupdocleb ,
    our Facebook page is currently under construction. we will post it here as soon as it’s ready.
    and if you have any questions, feedback, constructive criticism, or any idea at all through which you can help please feel free to contact us on helpservices.leb@Gmail.com

    and thank you for your feedback

    Reply
  3. hey Sylvia, I’m Radwan part of the team working on the project.
    you would be shocked with the number of doctors and nurses who are willing to invest their time once this is launched. we are currently crowdfunding to get the service up and running, any form of help is greatly appreciated, from simply sharing our link to anything else.
    we have been working on it for a couples of months, we released it to the public 2 days ago, we’re currently in our third day and we’re getting a lot of positive feedback.
    if you want to tract our progress you can check our updates section on zoomal:
    http://www.zoomaal.com/p/wupdoc
    , follow us on twitter @whatsupdocleb ,
    and our Facebook page is currently under construction.
    will post it here as soon as it’s ready.
    and if you have any questions, feedback, constructive criticism, or any idea at all through which you can help please feel free to contact us on helpservices.leb@Gmail.com.

    Reply

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