Time to Lift Medical Subsidies

Medical Subsidies

After fuel subsidies were repealed in October, the Ministry of Public Health announced that medical subsidies will be lifted as well, with the exception of chronic disease medications. For over a year, LIMS campaigned for the repeal of the Central Bank Subsidy Program, and finally managed to have fuel subsidies lifted in October. This move ended months of fuel shortages that paralyzed the entire economy. LIMS welcomed the partial lifting of medical subsidies and continued to call for the total repeal of all medical subsidies to ensure their availability in the market, similar to what happened with fuel just a month ago. Lebanon wasted $1.2 billion in 2020 on medical subsidies, most of which went missing from the market. These sums ought to be handed directly to the patients rather than the retailers and drug distributors. Implementing this policy would eliminate all incentives of smuggling, and slow down the draining of what remains of the central bank’s FX reserves. 

  • Government Repeats The Failed Fuel Experiment With Medicine And Expects Different Results, November 17, 2021: Nidaa Al Watan, Article AR