Lebanon Faces A New Crisis As Doctors Start Immigrating

Published September 7th, 2020 - 01:30 GMT
Lebanon Faces A New Crisis As Doctors Start Immigrating
According to Head of the Doctors’ syndicate Sharaf Abu Sharaf, hundreds of doctors have submitted requests to withdraw their files in preparation for leaving the country. (Shutterstock)
Beirut Port blast has exacerbated the crises endured by the healthcare sector in Lebanon and resulted in partial or complete destruction of many hospitals, leaving dozens of doctors and nurses jobless.

The economic situation in the country has already been deteriorating before the explosion. Salaries of the healthcare staff have been cut, their funds have been held in banks, like everyone else, and the dollar currency has been scarce in the Lebanese market.

Perhaps what made things worse is that the medical staff have to work for continuous hours, exposing themselves and their families to danger with the coronavirus outbreak and the record of about 500 new cases per day for a week now.

Instead of receiving incentives and rewards to motivate them to stay on COVID-19 frontlines, the austerity measures taken by private institutions in light of the growing economic and financial crisis included the medical sector.

This has prompted dozens of employees to submit immigration applications and respond to previous employment requests they received through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from countries such as England and Canada.

According to Head of the Doctors’ syndicate Sharaf Abu Sharaf, hundreds of doctors have submitted requests to withdraw their files in preparation for leaving the country.

Abu Sharaf warned of an imminent real disaster, pointing out that the United States and many European countries and neighboring Arab states have been keen to employ Lebanese doctors, nurses, and medical staff due to their great expertise, high educational level, as well as their eagerness to work.

He noted in his statements to Asharq Al-Awsat that the accumulating financial, economic, and banking crises have affected workers in this sector and their families.

The crisis has also lead several companies to stop contributing to covering the expenses of medical trips for doctors to participate in conferences abroad, he added.

All this has prompted doctors to search for job opportunities abroad in order to secure a better standard of living, and most importantly, safety and stability for their families, he stressed.

Abu Sharaf further revealed that many doctors in University hospitals have already begun their emigration procedures.

He affirmed that the Syndicate is committed to face this phenomenon and improve working conditions.

However, the official stressed that the situation is very difficult in the absence of minimum rights and social security after retirement.

The Order of Nurses in Lebanon issued a statement on Friday warning of the increased emigration of highly competent nursing workforce in search of better conditions.

It pointed out that this issue raises concerns about the future of the health sector in Lebanon and the profession itself.


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