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Remedying a social ill

Jul 23,2019 - Last updated at Jul 23,2019

Interior Minister Salameh Hammad on Sunday held a timely meeting with Minister of Health Saad Jabber to discuss ways to combat the phenomenon of attacks on medical staff in the country. The two ministers came to the conclusion that more should be done to protect healthcare professionals from the wrath of impatient  patients or their relatives. 

Details about the meeting have yet to be made public except that the two ministers decided to give utmost priority to the crisis and deal with it accordingly.

The wave of physical assaults on physicians and their assistants in the country has been with us for years now with no signs of abating despite countermeasures.

The core problem lies in the fact that public health facilities in the country are over-stretched and understaffed at a time when the number of patients is increasing. Patients and their relatives are normally short-fused,   especially when there are undue delays in the treatment process. Likewise, medical staff are also overworked and exhausted. 

The result is an environment that is tense and ready to explode. The immediate remedy to the recurring attacks is to improve the quality of health services in the country by increasing the number of health staff and upgrading their working conditions. 

This problem is a more  common occurrence in public health facilities than in private hospitals. 

What this points to is the need to increase the budget of public health facilities and the number of medical staff in the country. 

Healthcare is a basic human right well-enshrined in international human rights conventions. The government needs to treat it as such. The sooner the better!

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