Lebanon Medical Insurance
Lebanon is a relatively small country, situated within the Middle East. Lebanon has a population of more than 3.7 million people and an area of 10,452 square kilometers. Around 60 per cent of the country's population live in the capital city of Beirut. Other populated cities include Tripoli, Sidon, Zahle, and Tyre. Approximately 87 per cent of the population resides within urban areas.
Lebanon's health care system is one of the best in the Middle East. Health care facilities are predominantly located within the urban areas of the country, with limited medical facilities in rural areas. Hospitals in Beirut and the surrounding areas are able to provide some of the highest levels of medical care in Lebanon, with private medical facilities comparable to standards in the US and Europe. Doctors and health care staff in both Lebanon's major public hospitals, and private facilities, are generally proficient in English and French; therefore language barriers are not usually a problem. Lebanon's public healthcare system is expected to improve; given the recent of audit of primary healthcare facilities, performed by the Accreditation Canada International.
The AUBMC (American University of Beirut Medical Center) is recognized as one of the leading private hospitals located within the Middle East. It is the main referral site for serious health conditions within Lebanon, and typically receives emergency patients from across the region. The AUBMC provides primary healthcare care services and inpatient hospital care including emergency, general surgery and specialized treatment. Doctors and health care staff specialize in pediatrics, oncology, obstetrics, psychiatric and other specialty services.
Hospital Al Koura is a private facility in Lebanon located a few kilometers away from Tripoli. It has modern medical facilities and is predominantly known for its international physicians who have studied and practiced in Europe and the US. The hospital provides inpatient services in a range of specialties including Orthopaedic Surgery, Cardiac, Neurology, Paediatrics, Urology, Gastro Enterology, and other speciality services.
Expats living in Lebanon generally receive private healthcare treatment while in the country. This is often due to the higher standard of health care and latest medical technology that is available, and is usually related to the long waiting lists that are endured within public health care facilities. It is important to note that medical facilities in Lebanon may require immediate cash payment on admission; in emergency cases it is important to be aware that Lebanese hospitals may not receive emergency patients who are unable to pay for their treatment. While medical costs vary between hospitals and clinics, private facilities are generally very expensive. Due to this, expatriates living in Lebanon are strongly encouraged to obtain a Lebanon international medical insurance policy.
Vaccinations are recommended for expats moving to Lebanon, for protection against Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis B, Tetanus-diphtheria, Measles & Mumps and Rubella (MMR). The Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon estimates that 2 to 7 percent of the Lebanese population is infected with Hepatitis B, therefore expats living in the country need to exercise precaution methods.
Lebanon has a number of serious health concerns, the major issue being the availability of potable water. While the Lebanese government is taking aims to improve the water situation within the country, supplies from communal sources are unsafe for human consumption. As such, expats living in Lebanon need to be aware of safe water practices in order to prevent transmission of Typhoid Fever, Shigellosis (intestinal infection), and Hepatitis A and E. Bottled water is generally recommended as the safest source of drinking water. Alternatively, water used for drinking, cooking and washing can be sterilized through boiling or chlorination. Expats should seek urgent medical attention as diarrheal conditions can lead to rapid dehydration, especially in children.
Emergency evacuation and repatriation may be required in the event of a serious health condition or accident. The costs involved in covering emergency air transportation and the medical costs involved in covering treatment can be highly expensive. As such, expats living in Lebanon are highly recommended to obtain an Lebanon medical insurance plan, that includes emergency air evacuation and repatriation services.
Violence and terrorist attacks are possible in all areas of Lebanon due to ongoing political and sectarian tensions within the country. Expats should avoid any public demonstrations, as they can result in violence. Terrorism, directed particularly at Western interests, are a continuous threat in Lebanon. Palestinian refugee camps in the Tripoli region should not be visited due to the uncertain security environment. Southern Lebanon remains inhabitable due to unexploded landmines in the area. The Lebanon and Israeli borders should be avoided due to the uncertain security environment.
The road conditions in Lebanon are poor as a result of damage during civil war in the country. Driving in Lebanon can be unsafe due to poor adherence to road rules and lack of traffic signs in some areas. In addition, mountain regions are icy in winter and therefore particularity dangerous.
Sand and dust storms are common in Lebanon and can result in various ear, nose and throat related symptoms. Expats who have asthma, emphysema, and other respiratory conditions should seek medical care if their symptoms are exacerbated.
Emergency protocols must be adopted by expats living in Lebanon during the event of a serious accident, illness or criminal offense. To contact an ambulance service in Lebanon dial 1-1-2; police service dial 1-2-5; fire brigade service dial 1-4-0.