Mental Health: Call for Public Hospitals-Academia-Civil Society Organizations Partnerships
The Ministry of Public Health’s Vision is that of “An equitable health system that identifies and addresses the key determinants of physical and mental health and promotes, develops and sustains the highest attainable physical and mental health status of all Lebanese.”
To achieve this vision, the Ministry aims at building and sustaining an effective, high impact organization and works in partnership with all stakeholders, following good governance principles, to develop its institutional capacity for effective stewardship of the health sector, to ensure the promotion of better health and the provision of equitable, efficient and quality health services, in both public and private sector, that respond to people’s needs, with particular emphasis on the disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, thereby contributing to sustainable development of the country.
The Ministry thereby adopts an open-network collaborative type of governance for the health system based on an inter-sectoral approach and cooperates with other ministries, the private sector and the Civil Society in order to achieve its goals. As emphasized by the Director-General of Health, Professor Walid Ammar, during his address as the Laureat of the renewed Shousha Foundation Prize by the WHO for his significant contribution to public health in Lebanon:
“If I should attribute progress to one single characteristic of the health system, I would say: innovative governance. The most difficult leadership is that of getting things done by a multitude of stakeholders with different agenda, interests, and beliefs. The Lebanese society is plural and diverse by its different confessions and political groups, a strong private-for-profit sector and an active civil society with powerful NGOs. Considering the very limited resources and weak authority of the public sector, the challenge is how to make all these partners work together to achieve national health goals. The answer is to find a non-hierarchical governance structure, that replaces control and command leadership, by a collaborative leadership to achieve common goals through an open networking type of governance”.
The MOPH promotes partnership with not only governmental entities but also non-governmental entities to achieve national goals through innovative governance mechanisms, such as inter-ministerial collaboration to promote inter-sectoral action, public-private partnership to jointly address national system challenges such a fragmentation of health financing and service provision, partnerships with academia, including University Hospitals, to strengthen health systems and implementation research in order to further improve health services and ensure alignment of efforts towards achieving national health goals.