Lebanon Businessnews News

Full health coverage
for 64 years old and above
$11 million required to fill the gap
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The Ministry of Public Health announced that a full health coverage program will be provided to people aged 64 and above. The program will be financed by the ministry, which used to cover only 85 percent of hospitalization bills.

The ministry said that the budget required for this program is around $11 million. According to Bahij Arbid, advisor to the ministry, the program will require a five percent increase in the ministry’s budget, which, he said, the Council of Ministers has agreed to allocate to the ministry.

Arbid said that several procedures will be set to control and organize the hospital admissions of this program.

Sleiman Haroun, Chairman of the Syndicate of Private Hospitals, said that this decision will deplete funds that the ministry provides to the hospitals even faster, especially since demand on medical services will increase. “For this reason, the priority in hospitals should be for the neediest patients,” he said.

Haroun said that the Government accounts for 55 percent of the hospitalization bill, which is $900 million, through insurance institutions. Around 45 percent of nationals pay for their hospitalization bills themselves, either in cash or through private insurance policies. He said that this percentage should be reduced to 20 percent. This would require an additional $425 million, which is currently impossible, according to Haroun.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Jul 19, 2016
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