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Annual per capita health expenditures reach $863
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Total annual health expenditures per capita reached $863 in 2015, totaling $3.8 billion, accounting for seven percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to recently published statistics by The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

Total health expenditure has increased 11 percent since 2012, the last available date of measure by MoPH.

The figures released in March include expenditures inside and outside hospitals, in addition to laboratories, pharmacies, and physician clinics. “The numbers are good compared to other countries, as the percentage of health expenditure of GDP reached 11 percent in Germany and France,” said Sleiman Haroun, Chairman of the Syndicate of Private Hospitals. Per capita hospitalization expenditures are around $400 for a total of $1.7 billion, he said.

Out of pocket expenditures—direct payments made by individuals to health care providers—represented around 33 percent of the total health expenditure in 2015.

According to the latest statistical bulletin, the MoPH budget per capita reached $110 in 2017, a 12 percent increase from 2016.

The ministry’s budget grew to $472 million, an 11 percent increase from 2016. The ministry allocated $310 million for hospitalization in private and public hospitals, and $100 million for drugs. The MoPH budget represented around four percent of the total government budget.

The MoPH contracted with 30 public and 117 private hospitals in 2017.

MoPH spent 42 percent of the drug’s budget on cancer-related illnesses, 16 percent on rheumatology and osteoporosis, and seven percent on neurological ailments.

Circulatory system illnesses topped the list of diseases subsidized by MoPH, followed by respiratory system diseases.

According to the MoPH statistical bulletin, the maternal mortality ratio witnessed a noticeable improvement, dropping from 21 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016 to 16.9 in 2017. The under-five mortality rate was nine per 1,000 live births in 2017, compared to 8.5 in 2016. Infant mortality was 6.7 per 1,000 live births compared to 6.4 in 2016.

Life Expectancy at birth reached 76.3 years in 2018, according to the latest WHO data published, which gives the country ranking of 57. Life expectancy for male was 75.1, and female 77.7 years.

There was a slight increase in the number of physicians for every 10,000 citizens, from 31 physicians in 2016 to 31.3 in 2017. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation is eight physicians for every 10,000 citizens. The number of pharmacists grew from 18.2 to 18.9 during the same period. The number of nurses per 10,000 citizens grew from 34.2 in 2016 to 36.4 in 2017. “Although there is an increase in the numbers, there still is a large shortage in nurses,” Haroun said.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Mar 06, 2019