Lebanon Businessnews News

Healthcare’s share of public budget dropping
Government spending on private hospitals
25 times higher than on public ones
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The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) allocated more than $213 million for hospitalization in the private sector and $8 million for public hospitals in 2010, representing a drop by $2 million from 2008, according to a report by Université Saint Joseph, World Health Organization, and the ministry.

The ratio of spending on healthcare to GDP dropped from 12.4 percent in 1998 to 8.2 percent in 2005. Around 5.8 percent of the 2005 healthcare spending to GDP ratio came from private contributors and 2.4 percent from government facilities. No further updated figures were mentioned in the report.

The MoPH’s budget excluding debt represented only 3.8 percent of the government’s overall budget in 2010, a drop by almost half from 6.8 percent in 2005. Expenditures related to hospitalization represented 68 percent of the budget of the MoPH in 2012. Spending on hospitalizations represented 72 percent of the ministry’s budget in 2009.

The import of pharmaceutical drugs grew over the past six years. The value of these imports amounted to $973 million in 2011, up from just $428 million in 2005. Exports of pharmaceuticals reached $36 million in 2011, up from $8.6 million in 2005. The MoPH allocated a budget of around $61 million for drugs in 2010.

The number of hospital beds totaled 15,342 at the end of 2011, of which around 82 percent at private hospitals. The number of local hospitals totaled 164, including 135 private hospitals. This number included 116 short- to average- stay hospitals, and 19 long-stay hospitals. There are 28 short- to average- stay public hospitals and one military hospital. As of 2011, there were 11,782 physicians registered.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Dec 19, 2012