Lebanese hospitals face shutdown risks amid foreign currency shortage: Report

Beirut: Lebanon’s syndicate of private hospitals warned on Thursday that many Lebanese hospitals are facing the risk of shutting down because of a shortage of foreign currency to buy equipment and medicines, the Elnashra news website reported.

“Hospitals are unable to secure U.S. dollar funds to buy necessary equipment and materials amid current restrictions on cash withdrawals by banks,” Suleiman Haroun, head of the syndicate, said during a sit-in protest staged by hospital representatives near Lebanon’s central bank.

Haroun also noted that hospitals have been unable to secure their workers’ rights because of a shortage in liquidity.

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He urged the Central Bank of Lebanon to release hospitals’ funds to banks to save the health sector from an imminent collapse.

The ongoing unprecedented financial crisis in Lebanon has forced the central bank to place heavy restrictions on U.S. dollar withdrawals, weighing heavily on both businesses and individuals.

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