Navigating turbulence: an analysis of Lebanon’s healthcare system resilience during a multi-crisis situation

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Fouad Fouad of American University of Beirut presents an assessment of Lebanon’s healthcare system’s ability to adapt to and withstand various challenges since 2019, including COVID-19, the economic collapse, the Beirut explosion and the continuing refugee challenges.

This study was conducted as part of the Learning Site project and employs the health system resilience framework developed by the Rebuild for Resilience consortium. It found that the governance and decision-making processes within Lebanon’s healthcare system suffer from fragmentation, weak stewardship, and insufficient coordination, impacting the availability and quality of health services, particularly for vulnerable populations. Shortages touched all aspects of healthcare provision: medical commodities, medical equipment, health workforce, and operational capacities of healthcare facilities. Ad-hoc measures to address shortages, often compromised the quality, availability, equity, and inclusiveness of services. The collaborations supported before 2019 by bilateral agreements and coordination forums under the umbrella of Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) were disrupted and weakened, leading to a chaotic situation. The disengagement of MoPH led to the emergence of new partners and new donors allowing local providers to survive the multi-crisis, while the role of the informal sector and municipalities have gained importance.