Doctors are ready to face any emergency, many of raw materials have arrived in Lebanon

Doctors are ready to face any emergency, many of raw materials have arrived in Lebanon

Omar al-Rassi | Wednesday 08 November 2023

Bakhash: everything is related to the scale of the disaster

Perhaps the most important thing in the emergency plan developed by the government, in anticipation of any security developments that could lead to the expansion of the war, is the medical aspect, being in direct contact with saving lives. Hence, the attention turns to the doctors and the capacity to meet the needs.

For his part, the President of the Lebanese Doctors Syndicate, Youssef Bakhash, explains via "Akhbar Al-Yawm" agency that in light of these circumstances and the challenges we are going through, every concerned body, union, ministry or international institution felt responsible that it had a role in preparing the emergency plan, knowing that all of them belong to the Ministry of Health, which forms the coordinating body between all these institutions and bodies.

He added: "We had to draw up a medical plan based on several points, foremost of which is the organization of medical demography, as everyone knows that at the beginning of the crisis (in 2019) there was an emigration of doctors, but some of them returned in early 2023, but nevertheless the shortage in a number of specialties continued.

Bakhash points out that the syndicate has conducted the necessary statistics to determine the existing medical capacity in such circumstances, most notably: anesthesiologists and reanimatologists, emergency doctors who are in direct contact with the injured citizen, as well as general surgeons, orthopedists, brain and arteries doctors… Therefore, we have identified the number of doctors on the Lebanese territory.

And is it enough? Bakhash explains that in emergency medicine on the area of Lebanon we need at least 400 doctors, but there are only 40 or 10% of the need, saying: Despite this shortage, we have arranged the situation in cooperation with all sectors and non-governmental institutions (Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders...) and the Ministry of Health, and we have created a round-the-clock communication network (24 hours over 7 days) that allows transporting an injured person from the front to a hospital in the capital or any other region based on scientific and medical information so that medical staff are ready to guide the patient quickly to the hospital and therefore the medical staff is present to give him the service he needs. Therefore, even if there are only 40 doctors, organizing their work in parallel with the Red Cross and all the institutions that will work on the ground, we can use this energy to provide services as quickly as possible to any injured or sick person.

What about the funding? Bakhash says: in the end, the responsibility lies with the government, specifically the Ministry of Health, which reached with the Council of ministers to establish a specialized fund for Disaster Management, and has used the funds that were previously allocated to treat Coronavirus patients, provided by international bodies and institutions.

Is this money enough? Bakhash points out that everything is related to the scale of the disaster and the size of the demand, but also the World Health Organization transferred from Dubai to Lebanon a lot of raw materials and medical supplies in the event of disasters such as medicines used in war and for chronic diseases, and in the same framework, the Ministry of Health obtained platelets and implants used in bone restoration from international factories and institutions, and the quantity is sufficient to cover 5 thousand patients.

In the same context, Bakhash says: there is still a need for funds to cover the cost of the hospital and hospitalization. He adds: on behalf of all doctors in Lebanon, we will not ask about our fees if the period does not exceed several days, but if it exceeds months, we will face a problem.

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