AKKAR, Lebanon: A 22-month-old infant died at the doors of a hospital in north Lebanon Tuesday after he was denied treatment due to his parent’s inability to cover hospital expenses, the state-run National News Agency reported.
The Health Ministry temporarily stopped covering the expenses of patients without private insurance or National Social Security Fund coverage earlier this week, citing budgetary constraints.
But Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil called on hospitals Tuesday to admit uninsured patients again after the Finance Ministry released funds. Infant Moemin al-Mohammad, from the Akkar village of Burj al-Arab, was denied treatment for meningitis by several hospitals in Tripoli and Akkar because his family could only cover a portion of the amount needed.
Burj al-Arab Mayor Aref Shkaydem expressed his regret for “the hospitals’ administrations’ lack of human concern.”
He also urged the Health Ministry to “launch an investigation into the matter and hold accountable the hospitals that refused to provide treatment for the infant.” Late Tuesday, Khalil ordered a probe into Mohammad’s death.