Index / Health
Strongly affected by the Lebanese Civil War, that ended 1991, health services in Lebanon remained in a sad condition deep into the 1990's. Most Lebanese had access to health services, but doctor density fell to 0.1 per 1000 inhabitants. There were about 20 hospitals, often with functions little more than that of health stations.
A revolution has taken place in Lebanon in recent years, and while statistically the country today has one of the best health situations in MENA, poor central management has caused overinvestment in certain sectors, leaving other services underdeveloped.
The Lebanese system is dominated by the private sector, in a 2007 WHO report it is responsible for 90% of all total services. The growth in the private sector is unregulated, and there is presently an oversupply of private hospital beds and specialized functions.
Lebanon has presently too many doctors considering the total health infrastructure, while there is an undersupply of nurses.
Services are in general too specialized and advanced, and basic health services are underdeveloped, especially in rural areas.
Health conditions and diseases
Despite its many positive sides, life expectancy in Lebanon is comparatively low, and child mortality higher than the number of hospital beds and doctors would suggest.
Among the health challenges are acute respiratory infections, brucellosis and other zoonoses. With improved health diseases becoming more prevalent are diabetes, hypertension, depression and cancer. There are also problems with health-related environmental problems and risky lifestyles.
Good access to clean water and sanitation is today available to 100% of the population.