BEIRUT: The upcoming World Day of the Sick should be an occasion for the country to review the staggering levels of waste in the health sector, according to a former MP active in health reform.
Ismail Sukkarieh issued a statement Wednesday in which he decried the $1 billion worth of waste from the country’s $2.4 billion annual health bill.
The former Baalbek-Hermel MP urged hospitals, labs, pharmaceutical companies and other elements of the health sector to “have a bit of a conscience, ethics and mercy when it comes to costs.”
“We can say that last year’s total health bill reached $2.4 billion and the waste is no less than $1 billion; we should stop using occasions [such as the World Day of the Sick] as mere folklore,” he said.
Sukkarieh told The Daily Star that he arrived at the figure based on the many official questions filed by MPs with the legislature, as well as state oversight body reports, and a range of data that has accumulated with the country’s judiciary.
The World Day of the Sick, which was instituted by Pope John Paul II, falls on Feb. 11.