Despite political crises, economic austerity and military conflicts, the health sector in Lebanon did not loose ground. Studies reveal that over the last decade, the health status of the population has been improving along with lessening inequities in terms of both accessibility and health outcomes. Evidence shows also that during the same period, the GDP share of health expenditures decreased significantly, mostly as a result of a meaningful reduction in households’ out-of-pocket spendings.
How can progress be made in times of widening political and confessional discord, economic recession and devastating wars? This book pays tribute to those guided by science, professional ethics and human values, who despite the insecurity and hard working conditions, persevered in contributing to alleviate pain, reduce morbidity and mortality, improve quality of life and promote social progress.
Health beyond politics is not just a book on health, it is most of all about resilience. It holds one’s responsibility in taking part in building a modern healthy society.
Health spending in Lebanon is growing rapidly and faster than GDP. The current financing and delivery arrangements, extensively described in this book, are responsible for the resulting poor value for money. Reform is needed to adapt the health system with financial constraints and changing demographic and epidemiological profiles, and to produce the desired health outcomes. Lebanon's experience in introducing reform measures within a pluralistic health system, is interesting for many EMR countries, which consider enhancing the private sector role in health care provision and financing. This book provides evidence that, in the absence of proper regulation, the public financing of private services feed the escalation of health expenditures, while private insurance takes full advantage of the weak regulation capability of the public administration. It provides an analysis of the health care market and assesses the impact of the supply and different payment mechanisms on the demand and the cost of medical services.
This book does not only target experts and health professionals but is also a useful reference for students in medical and public health schools. It exposes them to different approaches for evaluating a health system, comparing utilization rates and incurred expenses between financing agencies, and calculating national health accounts. Finally, it introduces different reform components, proposes their gradual integration and gives the global picture of change for the future.