Sunday, December 8, 2019 … our activity here at the hospital has been a lot slower than usual. Patients in some cases are not able to arrive, or simply do not have the finances to cover care. We can’t refuse care however to those who do come, whether they can pay or not… Just a few weeks ago we received our usual loan from the CNSS which enabled us to pay the personnel, but not the suppliers, some of whom are threatening to stop delivering medical supplies. So we have to go slowly and pay as amounts come in from the private insurance companies.
But as anguishing as the situation is, I have to say that we are witnessing a wonderful solidarity among ourselves here at the hospital; getting ourselves and our ideas together to face the problems and to find possible solutions.
Also, Christmas decorations are up all over the hospital, as we decided to celebrate the birth of Christ as much as possible and in spite of the bleak situation…
Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 …I received the message which you sent yesterday, and don’t want to let any more time go by without sending a big THANK YOU…This good news was a ray of light as we attempt to sort through the multiple difficulties caused now not only by the economic situation, but also the Coronavirus – which the whole world is have to deal with right now.
Lebanon’s “official” Coronavirus stats are not among the worst, but there are many cases that are not reported. We’ve had three deaths so far and 120 cases reported, but most people think the reality of reported cases is around 10 times more than declared.
Here in the hospital, we have now closed four services, limited surgical operations and other outpatient tests to emergencies only… Personnel will be on a rotating “day off” schedule, which will be counted as vacation time. Hopefully this will cut the rate of transmission of Coronavirus. The public sector is now asking private institutions to take in the Corona patients also, as they are overwhelmed. So we have prepared a bloc apart --- which was once a dialysis unit – for the Coronavirus. Most of it will be triage, as those who have mild symptoms and even a positive test will go home and isolate themselves. Only the more advances cases will be hospitalized in the Unit. We are lucky to have two respirators available – the problem of respirators is worldwide, also.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 …thanks so much for keeping us in mind, and please know that whatever the outcome your moral support is especially appreciated!
…Here in Lebanon, Corona cases are on the rise. We now have a strict 4 days lockdown in front of us. But don’t worry, I am OK and not discouraged—mostly because there is no time! Anyway we try to keep up a optimistic attitude, [when possible]; if not it would just add another problem to our situation!! Thanks for your concern…
Saturday, May 23, 2020 …Thanks so much for the good news, which we really need! The financial situation here seems to be the same, in spite of sometimes optimistic headlines!
At the hospital, we have closed three units, and the personnel will start working half-time, half-pay. starting June 1st. [Exempted from this will be the lower paid workers, of course, who will continue to work full time and to receive their full salary – if not, we would be sending them to starvation!] We have been promised that the government will pay some of their bills, but so far, nothing concrete. Anyway, there is still hope!
Friday, June 12, 2020 … Just a note to thank you for the information that you sent about the olive tree program… This is such good news when faced with so many difficult developments now in Lebanon. Just last night there were riots, road closures, tire burning and looting when the Lebanese Pound was devalued to 5,500 LL against the dollar…
Sun, Jul 5, 2020 … I can’t tell you enough how much all your efforts will be appreciated.
This week, we had to start working “Hafts”: half time-half salaries for the personnel with a cut to half capacity for the hospital, because of the economic crisis. This topic is now front and center and most people are preoccupied now about getting food on their tables. Here in the hospital we are doing OK for the moment, as our suppliers of long standing have been very faithful and keep aside what we need. But no solution is in sight yet. . .